Dark matter is even more of a mystery that expected


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

The uncertainty of science: Using the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes astronomers have discovered that dark matter is not only invisible to direct observation, it is invisible to itself!

In this new research, Harvey and his team realized just how invisible this stuff is, even to itself. As two galactic clusters collide, the stars, gas and dark matter interact in different ways. The clouds of gas suffer drag, slow down and often stop, whereas the stars zip past one another, unless they collide — which is rare. On studying what happens to dark matter during these collisions, the researchers realized that, like stars, the colliding clouds of dark matter have little effect on one another.

Thought to be spread evenly throughout each cluster, it seems logical to assume that the clouds of dark matter would have a strong interaction — much like the colliding clouds of gas as the colliding dark matter particles should come into very close proximity. But rather than creating drag, the dark matter clouds slide through one another seamlessly.

I guarantee that this result is not definitive. The data here is on the very edge of reality, built on too many assumptions. We know that something undetected as yet is influencing the motions of galaxies, but what exactly it is remains completely unknown. These results only make the mystery more mysterious.

Share

4 comments

  • Reports like this one really doesn’t help my general feeling that our fundamental understanding of Space is wrong in some way, and Dark Matter is just filler theory until we come to that better understanding.

  • D.K. Williams

    Agreed.

  • PeterF

    Perhaps the assumption that dark matter is actually matter is wrong. A simpler explanation is that the “dark matter effect” is an immaterial force analogous to gravity or magnetism that we have yet to detect. We know from direct observation that matter has a gravitational effect on light. Has anyone yet explored the corollary that the light permeating the universe must have equal effect and opposite on that matter? The theory of relativity nicely explains what happens when matter is transformed into energy, but what happens to that energy? Current cosmology seems to assume that it just dissipates as the universe expands. If the big bang theory is wrong and we actually live in a steady state universe, that energy must be transformed back into matter or the result is “heat death” in deep time. Experimental physicists may have just not been looking in the right place yet. I expect an explanation of “dark matter” will yield a unified field theory or at least add yet another epicycle to the Big Bang Theory.

  • JWING

    I’m just thinking off the top of my head….Could dark matter be related to the theory of a Higgs field and the idea that the universe is in a super fluidized state. The idea of weak and strong forces predicted by Higgs Boson is not refuted. Is dark matter a previously unexpected causality of this theory???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *