Saturday science subject: Dark matter
Scientists at NASA say they have uncovered
definite proof of the existence of dark matter. Dark matter is
theorized to be matter that doesn't emit enough radiation to be detected
directly. Scientists believe dark matter is responsible for a number of
phenomena in the universe, including the rotational
velocity of stars inside galaxies, which doesn't conform to
Newtonian physics. The NASA researchers' proof of the existence of dark
matter was uncovered as follows:
The breakthrough came using data from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-Ray
Observatory and involved information from what researchers called the
most massive release of detected energy in the universe since the big bang.
Scientists said that the "bullet cluster," formed by a collision between
an enormous cluster of galaxies more than 3 billion light-years away and
a smaller galaxy cluster, demonstrated the existence of dark matter. In
effect, the collision stripped the dark matter away from visible matter.
Once stripped, dark matter was clearly identified by the strong
gravitational pull that it exerted.
A counter theory to the concept of dark matter suggests that the laws of
gravity as established by Einstein and Newton are inaccurate and need to
be changed. However, Doug Clowe, leader of the NASA-Harvard study, says
these new results are "direct proof that dark matter exists." More about
the researchers' findings can be found here