Science

Scientists find missing baryons - half the universe's missing matter

Scientists find missing baryons - half the universe's missing matter”

Two separate teams of astronomers used similar approaches to establish the presence of what is described as baryonic matter in the space between galaxies.

Many types of research regarding the dark energy and the dark matter of the Universe has been going on, and it is not possible to observe and calculate everything about the far stretched Universe at one go or within a time limit.

Tanimura's group found they are nearly three times denser than the mean for normal matter in the universe.

Models predict there should be roughly twice as much visible matter as is routinely observed by surveys of the cosmos. The matter is made up of particles called baryons, heavy subatomic particles made up of three quarks.

Hideki Tanimura at the Institute of Space Astrophysics in Orsay, France and Anna de Graaf at the University of Edinburgh were leading the two groups.

A fraction of this missing matter could exist as diffuse halos of dust and gas surrounding galaxies like ours, but this still leaves a lot of baryons unaccounted for. It's been hard to detect this matter with X-ray telescopes, but the teams were able to figure it out by observing the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, when light that has been left over from the Big Bang passes through the gas.

"We expect some differences because we are looking at filaments at different distances", researcher Hideki Tanimura from the University of British Columbia told Leah Crane from New Scientist.

The teams used a phenomenon called the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect that occurs when light left over from the big bang passes through hot gas.

The arguments of scientists based on the analysis of data obtained from the orbiting Planck Observatory, which is created to study the cosmic microwave background.

Astronomers have previously attempted to map the phenomenon using observations from the Planck satellite. The estimated gas density in these 15 Megaparsec-long filaments is approximately 6 times the mean universal baryon density, and overall this can account for ∼ 30% of the total baryon content of the Universe.

But numerous cosmic web's filaments are too scattered to be detected.

Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, each team chose pairs of galaxies supposedly connected by baryon strands. Then, to make the faint individual signals more visible, they stacked the Planck signals for these areas.

"If this factor is included, our findings are very consistent with the other group".

The works by the two teams were published online this week.

Dr. Ralph Kraft, an astrophysicist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics at MA in US State, explained that, "Everybody sort of knows that it has to be there, but this is the first time that somebody - two different groups, no less - has come up with a definitive detection". "This goes a long way toward showing that many of our ideas of how galaxies form and how structures form over the history of the universe are pretty much correct".



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