Astronomers would have found the matter and the gas left over from the Big Bang

Astronomers have found finally a part that had been lost in the great universe, and that it was speculated about it since the mid-1990s, when researchers decided to take inventory of all the matter in “ordinary” of the universe: gas, planets, and stars (not counting the dark matter is a separate issue). The reason for this is that according to the background radiation, a discovery that would give him the Nobel Prize Arno Penzias, they could calculate how much matter should have been created during the Big Bang.

VIDEO: This timelapse of the history of the Universe is overwhelming and you have to see

Then in this inventory of the stuff that you could see that they found only 10% of what they expected to find. And if we consider the matter well-known is that 15% of all of the existing matter (the other party is presumed to be dark matter), then the researchers would have only made the inventory of around 1.5% of all the matter in the universe.

They have now published three articles where astronomers have identified the final blocks of all ordinary matter in the universe. And although it took a long time to do that, the researchers appear to be correct about their findings: strokes of hot gas that span the empty space between galaxies is where is all the rest of the stuff that was not. This is known as the intergalactic medium, hot, or by its English acronym WHIM (warm-hot intergalactic medium).

The computer simulations, dating back to 1998, gave the first clues about this. “We wanted to know what happened to all the gas in the universe,” said Jeremiah Ostriker, a cosmologist at Princeton University, who built one of these simulations along with his colleague Renyue Cen. The researchers made these simulations dle gas moving in the universe, where gravity has its own influence, as well as the light, the explosion of supernovae and all the forces that move in the space. “We conclude that the accumulated gas in filaments could be detectable,” says Ostriker.

“It was clear that from the first simulations, much of the baryons could be in a warm, fuzzy, and not in the galaxies,” said Ian McCarthy, an astrophysicist at the University of Liverpool John Moores. The astronomers expected that these baryons hot to conform to a super-cosmic structure, one made of dark matter, even. The gravitational force of dark matter would pull the gas and heat to millions of degrees. But unfortunately, the diffuse gas hot it is very hard to find.

To see then these filaments are hidden, two independent teams of researchers looked for precisely the distortions of the background radiation. As the light of the universe original that crosses the whole of the cosmos, this could have affected the regions through which he passed. In particular, the electrons in a hot gas, ionized (as your WHIM), could interact with the photons of the background radiation, so qe to provide additional energy to these photons. Thus, the spectrum of the background radiation would.

But unfortunately the best map of the background radiation, given by the satellite Plamck, did not show these distortions. Or the gas was not there, or the effect was too subtle to be able to measure. But the two research teams decided that they would continue looking for a solution. Then made simulations of the universe much more detailed, where the gas may be compressed between the massive galaxies. Planck was not able to see gas between a pair of galaxies, so the researchers decided to multiply the signal -if it existed – a million times.

First, the scientists reviewed the catalogues of galaxies known to find pairs appropriate, that they were galaxies sufficiently massive and were at a distance “correct” way to produce a bulk of gas between them. Then astrophysicists regrearon to the data of the probe, Planck and identified the pairs of galaxies that is cut literally with scissors digital. With a million fragments in the hand, rotated each of them and amplified so that the galaxies appear in the same position. They then put a million of galaxies on each other and surprisingly the almost ghostly filaments of hot gas diffuse, appeared.

It is fair to say that the technique has its problems. The interpretation of the results, according to Michael Shull, an astronomer at the University of Colorado at Boulder, requires assuming a lot of things like the spatial distribution of the hot gas and the temperature. And as they mounted the signs, “one is concerned about these “weak signals” that are the result of combining large sets of data,” he says. Because of this, the results are still in question.

Will therefore wait for more evidence that you can give the universe, or, to the analysis of the researchers to find the difficulties that might deliver the results now are given to know. As it is, it is clear that little by little the science you will be finding the answer to questions that does not many years ago were enigmas whose chance of solving it seemed very distant. and Partners.

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