Aussie Student Solves Heavy Cosmic Mystery
She finds the 'missing' mass astrophysicists have been seeking
By Nx Doyle,  Newser User
Posted May 27, 2011 4:56 AM CDT
Promoted on Newser May 27, 2011 12:04 PM CDT

(User Submitted) – An Australian aerospace engineering student has cracked a mystery that has puzzled scientists for years. ABC Australia reports that undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, 22, was on a scholarship program at Melbourne's Monash University when she discovered that the universe has a greater mass than is currently visible. Astrophysicists have held for decades that there was more mass in the universe than what is made up in planets and stars, but could not prove it. It had been estimated that around 50% of the mass needed to maintain the function of the universe's function was ''missing."

Fraser-McKelvie's findings, achieved by targeted X-ray scans that located mass in filaments extending between galaxy clusters, could change the way we look at the cosmos. "We will be using this as part of the science drivers for some telescopes that are on the design board, that are being built right at this moment in time," says her tutor, Kevin Pimbblet. (More details on that at the Sydney Morning Herald.)