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Dark Matter Sucking Nearby Gas Found

by Shivaranjan on July 7, 2006


Scientists have found huge masses of hydrogen gas glowing as they are being sucked into some invisible galaxy like thing. Scientists feel that this is due the presence of dark matter.

Many of you would not be aware of Dark Matter. Let’s get to know more about it.

What is Dark Matter???

In cosmology, dark matter refers to matter particles, of unknown composition, that do not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation (light) to be detected directly, but whose presence may be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter such as stars and galaxies. Dark matter explains several anomalous astronomical observations, such as anomalies in the rotational speed of galaxies (the galaxy rotation problem). Estimates of the amount of matter present in galaxies, based on gravitational effects, consistently suggest that there is far more matter than is directly observable. The existence of dark matter also resolves a number of seeming inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory, and is crucial for structure formation.

Source: Wikipedia

You read more about Dark matter in the above mentioned link.

New Scientist Reports:

A strange, glowing blob in the distant universe may be a clump of dark matter sucking in gas from its surroundings, astronomers say. If so, it would be the first observation of the phenomenon and would provide a glimpse of the way our own galaxy was born billions of years ago.

The blob resembles previous observations of huge hydrogen clouds – each several times wider than our galaxy – that glow brightly in ultraviolet light. Astronomers have puzzled over what heats them up to make them glow.

In some cases, infrared images have revealed that the gas is accompanied by a hidden galaxy, whose stars are obscured by dust. Some – called starburst galaxies – are forming stars at a tremendous rate, and the young stars heat the hydrogen to make it glow.

Other blobs harbour supermassive black holes at their centres, which heat and stir up the matter in their vicinity. These are called active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and are often seen glowing at X-ray wavelengths.

For complete article Visit New Scientist.

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