dark matter

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No One Knows What It Is, but There's a $60M Hunt for It

Deep underground in SD, researchers seek mysterious dark matter that holds universe together

(Newser) - In a former gold mine a mile underground, inside a titanium tank filled with a rare liquified gas, scientists have begun the search for what so far has been unfindable: dark matter. Scientists are pretty sure the invisible stuff makes up most of the universe's mass and say we...

Discovery Points to Invisible 'Fifth Force' of Nature

Researchers in Hungary spot a mysterious proton

(Newser) - They're calling it X17—and it might help solve a great mystery of nature. Scientists in Hungary say they've twice stumbled on the previously unknown particle while seeking evidence of a "fifth force" guiding our visible universe, CNN reports. "X17 could be a particle, which connects...

There's a Weirdly Huge Hole Out There

And one scientist thinks she knows what happened

(Newser) - There's a massive hole in the outskirts of the Milky Way, and no one knows what caused it—but one scientist has an idea. "The on-sky morphology suggests a recent, close encounter with a massive and dense perturber," says Harvard scientist Ana Bonaca in a new presentation...

Galaxy With No Dark Matter Baffles Astronomers

NGC1052–DF2 is 'weird'

(Newser) - It's a double cosmic conundrum: Lots of stuff that was already invisible has gone missing. Astronomers have found a distant galaxy where there is no dark matter. Dark matter is called "dark" because it can't be seen. It is the mysterious and invisible skeleton of the universe...

Astronomers Detect Signal From 13.4B Years Ago

Signal shows dawn of the universe, possible evidence of dark matter

(Newser) - After the Big Bang, it was cold and black. And then there was light. Now, for the first time, astronomers have glimpsed that dawn of the universe 13.6 billion years ago when the earliest stars were turning on the light in the cosmic darkness, the AP reports. And if...

Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin Dies
Pioneering Astronomer
Vera Rubin Dies

Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin Dies

She overcame sexist barriers to discover dark matter

(Newser) - Vera Rubin, a pioneering astronomer who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter, has died, her son said Monday. She was 88. Rubin's scientific achievements earned her numerous awards and honors, including a National Medal of Science presented by President Bill Clinton in 1993 "for her pioneering research...

Milky Way Is a 'Galactic Lightweight'

Same-sized neighbor Andromeda has twice the mass

(Newser) - If our galaxy were a boxer, it would have just slipped down a few weight classes—and would be no match for our neighbor Andromeda. New research has revealed that the Milky Way, while still mind-bogglingly vast, is only around half the weight of the Andromeda galaxy, which is about...

Dark Matter May Hurl Comets at Planet Earth

 How Dark Matter 
 Could End Life 
 on Earth 
study says

How Dark Matter Could End Life on Earth

By hurling comets at our planet: Harvard study

(Newser) - Dark matter seems to hold galaxies snugly together across the universe—but it could also hurl comets at Earth and threaten our entire species, according to a new study . This is based on a theory that there's a huge disk of dark matter lying on the central plane of...

Dark Matter's 'Cosmic Web' Spotted for 1st Time

Scientists see glue that holds universe together

(Newser) - Scientists have seen a tendril of dark matter for the first time, and all it took was a "cosmic flashlight." Using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, a scientific team spotted the dark matter in a gas cloud illuminated by the radiation of a distant quasar, the BBC reports....

Dark Matter News Might Be Space Station's Finest Hour

Experiment there yields what may be the first glimpse of the stuff

(Newser) - Astronomers are plenty excited today over the news that an experiment aboard the International Space Station may have caught the first glimpse of dark matter. You know, the "mysterious substance that may hold the cosmos together," in the words of USA Today . Or the "mysterious dark matter...

Mammoth Astronomy Project Goes Live High in the Andes

World's biggest radio telescope will look into darkest regions of space

(Newser) - Today marks the launch of what the Miami Herald calls "one of the most ambitious astronomy projects in the history of mankind": the world's largest radio telescope. The $1.4 billion Atacama Large Millimeter Array finds a home 16,400 feet above sea level in Chile's Andes...

Big Find: Dark Matter Strand Connecting Galaxy Clusters

Find confirms theories on universe's formation

(Newser) - This is shaping up to be one hell of a week for scientists trying to figure out the mysteries of the universe. Hot on the heels of the apparent Higgs boson discovery , an international team of astrophysicists has revealed that it has spotted a filament of dark matter connecting two...

Secret to Dark Matter May Lie Under South Dakota

Large Underground Xenon experiment to be housed in town of Lead

(Newser) - Nestled nearly 5,000 feet beneath the Earth in the gold boom town of Lead, South Dakota, is a laboratory that could help scientists answer some pretty heavy questions about life, its origins, and the universe. Today part of the Homestake Gold Mine—opened in 1876 and shuttered in 2003—...

Experiment Proves Einstein Right About Universe

It's expanding just how he said it should

(Newser) - A new experiment has proven another of Einstein's theories to be right on the money. Einstein's general theory of relativity predicts the speed at which galaxies move toward each other and the rate at which the universe is expanding. A team of cosmologists recently measured a slice of...

Dark Matter Map Unveils Cosmic Mystery

Data from Hubble telescope reaches back billions of years

(Newser) - Invisible matter may be holding us all together after all. Researchers have unveiled the biggest-ever map of dark matter in the universe, which shows large clumps and wispy filaments of the stuff nestling galaxies like jewels, the BBC and Space.com report. "We've seen the first glimpse of...

Hunt for Dark Matter Heads Deeper Underground

Scientist to seek WIMPs at site more than a mile deep

(Newser) - Scientists hunting for the invisible substance believed to make up most of the matter in the universe are planning to move the search to a two-mile-deep mine in Canada. Researchers trying to detect dark matter about a half-mile below the surface of Minnesota suspect they may have captured two particles...

Large Hadron Collider Closing Down for a Year

Atom-smasher needs months of work to run at full capacity

(Newser) - The glitch-plagued Large Hadron Collider will be closing down for a year at the end of 2011 to fix flaws in its construction. The atom-smasher restarted recently after being out of commission for 14 months and will soon accelerate protons to energies of 7 trillion electron volts. It will take...

Dark Matter Particles Detected Deep in Mine

Astounding find may yield answers to universe mysteries

(Newser) - Scientists searching for traces of the mysterious substance believed to make up most of the universe's mass believe they have detected it for the first time at the bottom of an old mine in Minnesota. A team of physicists say detectors placed half a mile underground to shield them from...

Secret to Dark Matter May Be Underground

Scientists mine earth for substance that makes up 95% of universe

(Newser) - Minerals aren’t the only prize in a mine—scientists travel underground to search for elusive dark matter, the invisible substance that may make up 95% of the universe’s mass, the Wall Street Journal reports. Delicate equipment seeks to detect the stuff in the form of particles known as...

Huge Particle Collider Ready for Debut

Probably won't destroy universe

(Newser) - Physicists across the world will spend the wee hours of tomorrow morning watching with bated breath as the world’s most expensive science experiment gets under way, the New York Times reports. At 3:30am Eastern, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider will switch on for the first time, sending particles...

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