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Fraser
2003-Dec-23, 06:35 PM
SUMMARY: Gravitational lensing happens when the light from a distant object, such as a quasar, is distorted by the gravity of a closer object. Astronomers have discovered just such a lens, where the distortions are so great, they have to be caused by a significant amount of dark matter - the visible material alone couldn't be responsible. Dark matter is predicted by its gravitational influence on galaxies and stars in the Universe, but so far, astronomers aren't really sure what it is; whether it's just regular matter which is too cold to be seen from Earth, or some kind of exotic particle.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

damienpaul
2003-Dec-23, 06:41 PM
So am I understanding correctly that they have some proof for some 'dark' matter through its effect as seen by gravitational lensing? This reseaech sounds exciting.

If the material is too cold to be seen, does that imply taht it is colder than the background head radiation of the universe itself (which i think is about 3K)?

Could it be some seriously strong endothermic super gravitational object? if so, what in the odd socks of teh universe would that be?

VanderL
2003-Dec-23, 09:03 PM
Dark Matter was invented 70 years ago because the data wouldn't conform to accepted theory. And to make the circle complete; the things we invented to make our theories work are needed to explain the things we don't understand today.

Josh
2003-Dec-23, 09:13 PM
Wasn't there an article a few days ago diproving Dark Matter anyway? How does that fit in with this? Anyone??

VanderL
2003-Dec-23, 09:27 PM
I thought it was about dark energy, although both dark matter and dark energy are theoretical constructs needed to keep the standard theory together.