Missing Mass (was Re: Big Bang: How widely accepted?)

Andrew J. Sutter (you@somehost.somedomain)
7 Sep 1995 02:56:21 GMT

In article <4284n7$bth@ixnews5.ix.netcom.com>, ciacon@ix.netcom.com (WAYNE JOHNSON) says:

>I think it takes a pretty open mind to accept the Big Bang.
>Astronomers use it only as a model, and even proponents have trouble
>with the missing mass question, etc.
I thought the missing mass question wasn't essential to the Big Bang
hypothesis, but only to the question of whether the universe will
expand indefinitely or collapse back on itself sometime in the future.

I suppose another use for the missing mass is to explain much more
local things like weird galactic rotation curves (i.e., where the
galaxy rotates as if it had a lot more mass in its disk than appears
to be glowing).

Is this correct? If so, the cosmological aspects of the "problem" of
"missing" mass seem to me a bogus one -- it simply results from the
aesthetics of cosmologists, who seem dissatisfied with the notion
that there just isn't enough mass to prevent indefinite expansion
(if the rest of their hypotheses are correct). Even scientists can
create myths without being aware that they're doing so.

--Andy Sutter
Los Angeles