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

Wed, 13 Sep 1995 20:35:18 GMT

In article <42m0m9$> (WAYNE JOHNSON) writes:

>As I understand it, the question of where all the missing mass is
>located has been boiled down to whether we have adequate means of
>detecting it.

Pretty much. We can tell from the orbital data that SOMETHING is out
there, we just can't seem to find it.

>We are detecting energy on all kinds of wavelengths, not just visible
>light, so objects not emitting light on the visible wavelengths should
>still be detectable.

Try objects NOT emitting light at all. Some of the newer particle physics
theories propose that neutirnos have a very small but non-zero mass, and that
due to the insane numbers of them, could account for a very large proportion
of the mass of the universe.

> In addition, mass not visible should still curve
>space, and thus be deduced by bending light sources beyond it.

First the mass has to have a light source to bend. Second it has to be
big enough (about the size of the sun, preferably bigger) to do any
significant bending. Third, WE have to see it. You aren't going to notice a
0.00000000000001 degree deviatio of a stars light from 3,000,000,000 ly away
with N tonnes of crud in the way.

> This is
>being studied. (Come on, you astronomers, help me out here. Didn't
>Hubble come up with some data last year?)

Yeah, it did. Seems we have one god awfully massive black hole at the
center of our galaxy. I've forgotten the exact mass figures, but it explains
why the Milk way seems to be rotating faster than it should be.

>Watch out with that myth stuff, though - astrophysicists have WAY more
>fun debunking each other than debunking mystics. A chalkboard duel
>between two astrophysicists over cosmology is worse that two junkyard
>dogs fighting for a ham bone.

Of course. Soft targets are no challenge. >:)