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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:40 PM
Original message
NASA Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/aug/HQ_06297_CHAND...

Dark matter and normal matter have been wrenched apart by the tremendous collision of two large clusters of galaxies. The discovery, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, gives direct evidence for the existence of dark matter.

...

These observations provide the strongest evidence yet that most of the matter in the universe is dark. Despite considerable evidence for dark matter, some scientists have proposed alternative theories for gravity where it is stronger on intergalactic scales than predicted by Newton and Einstein, removing the need for dark matter. However, such theories cannot explain the observed effects of this collision.

"A universe that's dominated by dark stuff seems preposterous, so we wanted to test whether there were any basic flaws in our thinking," said Doug Clowe of the University of Arizona at Tucson, and leader of the study. "These results are direct proof that dark matter exists."

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Photo of the "bullet galaxy" mentioned in the article
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. My Theology classes are a bit rusty, but doesn't proving dark matter
give further proof of the big bang theory?
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Why do you hate Amerika?
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 01:00 PM by Lochloosa
and yes, you are correct.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. science is anti-American...who outside of the WH would have thought it
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. LMAO. Sorry, my Taliban upbringing is showing. n/t
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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. No. Not really.
They have to measure how much dark matter there is in the universe, and this does not include anything close to measuring dark matter. In addition, there is a difference between evidence and proof. There is no proof of the Big Bang, and some of the evidence is suspect. One problem that the Big Bang theory has is that Einstein's cosmology and Neil Bohr's quantum theory cannot exist in the same universe as one created by a big bang. If one would rewind the film backwards to the moments just before the Big Bang, the two theories cannot exist together.

String theory was supposed to have solved this problem, but even the proponents of string theory admit that it is little more than a religion since it cannot be proved empirically.

Here's a good site that offers alternative discussions to the Big Bang theory:

Halton Arp
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. What, exactly, is this "suspect evidence" for the BB?
Not being a physicist, I'm not up to date on all the arguments.

(And is it just me, or is this guy claiming some sort of blacklisting or whatever on his intro page?)

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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I'll provide some links for you to read
There are a body of scientists that diagree with the Big Bang Theory. Some of the more renown are Fred Hoyle and Hannes Alfven. Fred Hoyle discovered how a star works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle

Wikipedia doesn't do Hoyle justice. Ironically, Hoyle's discovery was seen as a confirmation of the Big Bang, but although Hoyle accepted the Big Bang, he later rejected it because of all the apparent holes in the theory.

Hannes Alfven is the most notable scientist that disagreed with the Big Bang. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannes_Alfv%C3%A9n

Halton Arp was the scientist that mapped out the galaxies in the 50's. He is another notable scientists that disagree with the Big Bang. He is no longer allowed to do his work at the observatory, because of his views on the red shift.

Here is a link that is funny in nature that pokes holes in the big bang:

What Big Bang

Here are some more:

Big Bang Cosmology Meets an Astronomical Death

Why the Big Bang is Wrong

The Big Bang Never Happened



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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You're reading too much into my comments.
Finding evidence of dark matter, which wasn't believed to even exist, brings us a step closer to proving the big bang theory. Obviously, there needs to be a way to quantify the amount of dark matter to figure out if there is enough gravitational pull to have caused the big bang but you have to see it first right? This is a step on the path.

This is one step closer to proving big bang and disproving creationism. That was my point.
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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Huh? They didn't see dark matter.
They interpreted that it was dark matter. They might be right, but it does not bring us a step closer to proving anything. Proof is not the same as evidence. I have no idea why you brought up creationism. My understanding is that Halton Arp is an Atheist. The person who wrote The Big Bang Never Happened is a Buddhist.

You might want to take a look at the links I provided Zhade. The following is one reason why Nobel Prize winner Hannes Alfven held the Big Bang suspect. Read emphasis.

Alfvn and colleagues proposed an alternative cosmological theory, the Alfvn-Klein model to both the steady state and the Big Bang cosmologies. There is also an ambiplasma version. Alfvn believed the problem with the Big Bang was that astrophysicists tried to extrapolate the origin of the universe from mathematical theories developed on the blackboard. The Big Bang was a myth devised to explain creation, according to Alfvn. He confided with close friends that he felt the theory tried to make science compatible with the authoritative religious declaration of creatio ex nihilo.

Alfvn proposed a "plasma universe", from which he proposed a plasma cosmology, and after receiving a cold reception in the wider scientific community, stated that he thought 'the theory may take time to be accepted by the popular consciousness'.



Georges Lemaitre was the first to begin the notion of the Big Bang, and he was a strict Roman Catholic. If you want to talk science and compare the Big Bang to other theories we can take a look at the proponents of the Steady State or Plasma theories.

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. No one has yet proven dark matter exists
"Dark matter" is the working explanation of an observable effect that can not be explained by the Standard Model as currently accepted. What this study has done is verify some assumptions of how the dark matter model affects galaxies and galactic clusters, strengthening some theories while weakening others. It hasn't really proven anything.
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Ragin_mad Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Oh, sorry, when I first read the title
I thought maybe NASA got ahold of *'s CAT scan.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. Teriffic story--thanks for posting.
I have a problem with the overly enthusiastic author and the cheering section. At best, this is still indirect evidence, as opposed to the "direct proof" the writer espouses. Even leaving out string theory or p-branes, which, thankfully, they do, other explanations are still likely. Too bad.
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. What is dark matter, exactly?
It isn't planets or anything visible, right? So what could it be? (I know this is probably a really stupid question.)
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. It's matter that doesn't reflect electromagnetic radiation
Primarily known as "light" (although that includes radio waves, microwaves, gamma rays, X-rays, etc.).

Since that's the primary way humans can detect where something is (and not just with the naked eye -- we search the deep reaches of space with radio waves, etc.), there's always been some contention as to whether or not dark matter actually exists.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Not quite correct
The only impact dark matter seems to have is with regards to gravity. It not only does not reflect electro-magnetic radiation, it doesn't block it or otherwise interact with it in any way except by means of gravitational effect (such as "lensing," where space-time is distorted enough to alter the path of "straight" lines.)

I've seen some interesting speculation that dark matter might not be a part of this universe at all. The idea goes like this:

It is accepted that gravity manifests as a distortion of space-time. The more mass in a given volume, the greater the distortion. The question is: How is this distortion actually occuring?

Enter "Brane theory", which holds that our universe is a single "brane" -- short for membrane -- in a larger polyverse that has other branes, each one a unique and separate universe. When gravity distorts space-time, it actually distorts the brane itself in the the polyverse. There is nothing in brane theory which would prevent distortions in one brane from affecting "nearby" branes. Thus: dark matter, which seems to exist only as gravitational effects, actually is only gravitational effects, coming from other branes/universes.

Weird and definitely sci-fi, but within the bounds of discussed scientific possibility.
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Woah
That's a bit...out there.

Thanks for the clarification; I haven't taken a physics class in about 8 years or so, so I was trying to keep it simple.

I get completely lost when the topic starts straying into other universes or dimensions. (I'm still having a hard time "getting" string theory even though I've seen that Nova special 3 or 4 times. As soon as the concept of dimensions beyond the 4th comes up, my brain seems to stop following what they're talking about!)
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Theoretical quantum physics gets very, very weird
Keeping up with current theories can be difficult, especially when you are just an interested layman like me. If you like, I can get a few of the books I've read in the last few years. Most are a bit arcane, but written for the general public and not as dumbed down as the "Nova" programs have become.
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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. So, in this theory are blackholes thought to terminate in another brane?
Interesting thought...the notion of a polyverse, but I wonder how we would ever substantiate such a claim if we cannot directly or indirectly observe the interaction?

J

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I don't think so
Think of the standard "brane" representation of a black hole, with a flat space-time and a funnel. In brane theory, the funnel has an ending "dimple", much like a balloon that's being poked. Energy that falls in eventually pops back out again, with this happening quickly in small black holes and slower the bigger the hole is. Again, this is in line with accepted theory, which holds that all black holes "evaporate" and that small holes evaporate much quicker than bigger ones. There is also some supposition that energy going into a black hole picks up "spin", much like a coin dropped into a funnel. The deeper the funnel of a black hole, the more spin energy picks up when going in, and the slower it goes "down" and back "up" again.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. Find another brane and find all those missing socks.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. Dark matter is a notion.
It's not even a theory. There are some weird things we can observe in the universe, things that do not add up in a newtonian universe.

Those things are, primarily, the alleged expansion of the universe appears to be speeding up.

There is a phenomenon called "gravitational lensing" which has the effect of acting like a huge magnifying glass, caused by, we think, humongous masses altering their local space-time and bending the light that reaches us from more distant objects. (Kind of like the experiment performed in 1919 that confirmed Einstein's description of space-time, with the light from a distant star being slightly bent as it passes the sun, observed during an eclipse)
No problem there except that the amount of mass required to get the effect we see isn't there. Hmmm..where is it?

Another puzzle comes from observations of the rotational speeds of galaxies--From the 'spin a bucket of water around your head' at the end of a rope to the speed of planets around the sun, there are formulae that describe those motions and the speed they occur at. It is normally expected that the further the orbiting object is from its center of motion, the slower it moves.

The problem is that the stars and gas zipping around the galactic center don't seem to follow Newton's laws, with the stars on the outer portions of the galaxy moving way too fast.

There are some other things, too, the decay rate of some of our long term spacecraft, as they drift out of the solar system isn't as predictable as we thought.

The upshot of all this is that, if we add in a colossal amount of matter, the numbers start to come a lot closer to what Newton says they ought to be, but that added mass isn't there, so it must be...invisible!! Voila!

And that is "dark" matter. There is some evidence for its existence but no proof and there are several alternate suggestions that don't require it but usually have some other difficult to evaluate solution. Exciting times!
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Exciting times indeed
Especially when you have delusions of becoming a science fiction author. :hi:

I really have to pity the cosmologist. A physicist can (in theory) build experiments to test their assumptions. But when a cosmologist is trying to figure out why so much of the universe appears to be missing, or why the universe appears to be expanding faster now than in the past, or where the universe came from, he really is little different than the "natural philosophers" of the Reformation arguing over how many quanta can dance on the edge of a string.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Ain't it the truth!
Ya can't smell it, feel it, or really even measure it, except for rather gross, imprecise measurements and as far as seeing it, we can only see it as it was millions of years ago. And even that is obscured by dust, gas, and an interesting little twist that immerses a distant galaxy deep within its own little time warp, with the vast changes in time from the black hole or singularity at its heart, with its clock running slowly or not at all to a star at its perimeter.

The picture can get as complex as the cross-linking criminal underworld linkages in the republiclown organized crime syndicate.

Makes me wish I were a lot younger and smarter.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. An astonishingly significant find!
K/R for science and reason - no longer will robed clerics declare dark matter to be "of the devil"!

(That's a joke, as far as I know fundies probably think dark matter IS the devil. :D )

Awesome stuff!

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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
17. Dark Matter is SATAN. Get thee out damned unseen matter...
God would never create something so dark and evil. Plus, none of your damned "scientific" theories explain the discrepancy between what the Bible tells us is the truth and what has been empirically tested and observed. Clearly your science is evil.

J
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. How long till the GOP takes credit for expansion of the Standard Model?
:sarcasm:
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Unless it helps Haliburton's bottom line, never.
On the other hand, as long as it doesn't hurt Haliburton's bottom line, it will not be supressed and then denounced when leaked.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. This is infernally poorly written.
The hot gas in this collision was slowed by a drag force, similar to air resistance. In contrast, the dark matter was not slowed by the impact, because it does not interact directly with itself or the gas except through gravity. This produced the separation of the dark and normal matter seen in the data. If hot gas was the most massive component in the clusters, as proposed by alternative gravity theories, such a separation would not have been seen. Instead, dark matter is required.


So the non-dark matter was stripped away from the dark matter? And that means that dark matter was revealed to exist?
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. Dark Matter is tainted, it's dark sided, I want it OUT OF MY HOUSE!
GARGOYLES!

PSYCHICS!

EVERYTHING'S BEEN TAINTED!!!!!! IT'S BEEN DARK-SIDED!

I GIVE DARK MATTER UP TO GOD, I'M A GOD WARRIOR!!!!!!!!!

:nuke:
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
30. What, did Bush go in for a brain-scan?
I would imagine his head is filled with dark matter.
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