05 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: D Stands For: Dark Matter

Scientists know little about dark matter.

Even though they think it makes up 23% of the universe, and 80% of all matter, dark matter is not detectable along the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e. radio, microwave, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet, x-ray). A few of the only signs of dark matter are temperature distribution in hot gas, the rotational speeds of galaxies (stars revolve around the center of their galaxies), and gravitation lensing (which is when light curves around an object to reach whatever's observing it).

These effects are attributed to dark matter because there is no clear way of explaining them without it. If dark matter really is playing a part in the universe, then it would explain the so-called "missing mass" and the current laws of physics would still work.

A video on dark matter:

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA scienceNOW.


Although, dark matter is only one theory. It's obvious something is interfering with the way the universe should (according to our laws and calculations) work, but dark matter might not be the final theory. There could be something else that's affecting the way we arrive at our current answers; modified gravity laws and quantum gravity laws are two theories that do not involve dark matter.


Do you think we'll figure out what's acting on the universe and find a way of observing it directly, instead of being able to only note its effects?

-----The Golden Eagle


Nahno McLein said...

I sure some day they're gonna figure it out. It's a very interesting D, thank you. I love the theories around dark matter.
Nahno ∗ McLein

the writing pad said...

Even the name, dark matter, is kind of mysterious - interesting post. Thanks!
All best

Michael Di Gesu said...


You are so scientific. Did you study science? Or, is it just a hobby?

I'm sure with minds like your.... it will be figured out one day.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lets us know there are still a whole lot of mysteries in how the universe works.

Carole Anne Carr said...

A fascinating subject and one I hope is solved in my life time as I would like to know the answer.

Michael Offutt said...

The LHC stands the best chance at the moment in finding evidence of dark matter. They are recording explosions that haven't taken place in the universe for billions of years. It's quite possible that we shall have information on both the Higgs Boson and dark matter at some point but only time will tell.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Good post...interesting stuff!

Elena Solodow said...

I'm fascinated with this topic, but it's still a little hard to grasp.

The Golden Eagle said...

Nahno: I think so, too.

You're welcome!

Karla: Thank you!

You're welcome for it!

Michael: At this point, it's just a hobby--but I'd love to study it in the future. :)

Charles: There certainly are.

Carole: Me, too. :)

Michael: Hopefully it will! I'm definitely keeping my eye on the science happening right now . . .

Sharon: Thank you!

Elena: When (not if, I think) they find out what's really affecting the universe, it should be much clearer as solutions fall into place.

Siv Maria said...

Maybe dark matter has more meaning than science allows for. Maybe that is where God hangs out :)

Tiger85 said...

We will eventually find a way to study it. =)


ali said...

Whoa. That was so cool. You are blowing my mind, Golden!

Áine Tierney said...

Interesting post. I like this as I'd like to know more about science, so bite size chunks like this are great!

mist of the blossom rain said...

I am loving these posts! I haven't studied dark matter yet, but now I can't wait! Science is so mind boggling, and fascinating.

Rusty Webb said...

I'm awfully curious to see if the LHC turns up anything in the next few years that we could identify as a candidate for dark matter. I won't hold my breath though. I for one, enjoy the mystery.

As for competing theories (or hypothesis'), I think MOND has some serious flaws, and I was unaware that any version of quantum gravity spoke much about dark matter. Shows what I know.

Lauracea said...

I'm just speechless. This is such a great blog because I'm learning so much. Information and mysteries like this just bring it home that we are just a minute, tiny, tiny dot in a vast universe. No point in being arrogant because there's something bigger just round the corner. Thank you - another awe-inspiring post.

Brian said...

Perhaps some smart one will be able to shed a light on dark matter, then it won't be dark any more.

Grammy said...

Hi, I find discussion of light and darkness fascinating.!
Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space. Jesus came that we might have light and have it more abundantly. Let light shine on, and I won't worry about darkness or dark matter. Thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate you.

Margaret Hall said...

Dark matter...we who study metaphysics like to think of it as "that which lingers that we cannot see"...lol..Thanks for the info..'

Sarah Allen said...

This is awesome! I learned something new and interesting that I didn't know before.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Josh Hoyt said...

This is a great way of looking at things and yes they will eventually figure it out if they don't blow us all up first :) The problem is thought they will run into yet another question that will stump them and once again there will be something causing a problem that can't be figured out.

Heather said...

This is fascinating! You always come up with the most interesting things. I love that!

Shelley said...

I remember briefly learning about dark matter in science last semester. Space in general is an interesting topic. I don't think we'll ever fully be able to learn about all these things. Great post! :)

Lynda R Young said...

It's good to know that not everything in the universe has an answer yet ;)

Hannah Kincade said...

A great informative post again!! Love it.

Margo Kelly said...

Huh ... my brain might be a little smarter now - - but I don't know for sure!

The Words Crafter said...

I swear, I just put a 'sticky note' on my desktop so I could remember to come back Friday or Saturday and watch the video. This stuff fascinates me!

Liz P said...

I heard dark matter is produced by the Nibblonians as excrement.

Stratoz said...

Dark Matter would not be the first thing predicted by scientists that ended up being found or in the other case being proved wrong. We will have to wait and see. I love NOVA SCIENCE NOW

Jules said...

Are you getting extra credit for all this research? Well you should! :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Nate Wilson said...

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Not in our lifetime.

I'm sure it will make sense eventually. Or maybe we'll find out the entire world is carried on the back of a giant tortoise. Either way, it should be interesting.

Sun Singer said...

This is one of those topics that fascinates me even though it dances around the edge of my understanding.

L'Aussie said...

I'm surprised how many scientific posts I'm coming across. So are they sure this is just a theory? Fascinating all the same.


L'Aussies Travel Blog A - Z Challenge - D is for Darfur

Arlee Bird said...

That's pretty intense. New discoveries are being made continually so I'm sure someone will come up with the discovery, answer, explanation, or whatever. It might be you, but probably not me.

Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during the challenge I will not be doing so at the moment. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks. And I truly appreciate your efforts.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Trisha said...

I love all that stuff - I love that we don't know everything yet. It keeps things exciting :D

Pearson Report said...

I can safely say that finding your site, via this A-Z Challenge has been such a treat.

As I said in an early comment I feel enlightened when I read your posts.

It is true, I don't have a scientific bone in my body, but your writing style and presentation of material is totally within the parameters of my learning curve.

Thank you for existing...in my dark matter!

Smiles, Jenny

Rachel Morgan said...

Dark Matter is one of those cool subjects I wish I understood really well so that I could sound all intelligent and knowledgeable in random conversation. Instead, my intelligent comment goes something like this.... "Is that the same stuff Dan Brown used in Angels and Demons? Oh no wait, that was anti-matter, wasn't it? Is there a difference?"

Madeleine said...

Lovely post on the mysterious dark matter. I guess someone will eventually figure it out. :O)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the good folks at CEN will be able to make a discoery in this area. It its out there, it will only be a matter of time before we can confirm its existance and them begin to explain it.

Jai Joshi said...

In certain parts of the Himalayas there are these giant golden eagles. I don't know exactly what that sub species is called but they're breathtaking. Several of them followed us all the way down the mountain as we descended on day. It was such a beautiful experience.


M Pax said...

Dark matter is fascinating. I've read a few books on it. Great post.

The Golden Eagle said...

Siv: Maybe . . . we'll just have to wait and see what's discovered. :)

Tiger85: I hope we do!

Ali: Thank you! :)


Aine: I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Emily: It is. :D

Rusty: There's something great about mystery--the not knowing. (And that's what drives discovery, too, of course.)

I hadn't heard of either until I looked up the Wikipedia article. :P

Lauracea: Thank you!

It's hard to think about the whole universe--there's so much out there, and we're just a few trillion atoms. :P

You're very welcome!

Brian: Perhaps! I look forward to when that happens. :)

Grammy: I find them interesting, too.

You're welcome! It was great visiting your blog.

Margaret: Anytime! :)

Sarah: Thanks!

Glad you took away something from my post.

Josh: Yeah, so long as they don't. ;) LOL.

There are always more questions to be answered . . .

The Golden Eagle said...

Heather: Thanks!

I hope my posts continue to catch your interest. :)

Shelley: Maybe not everything--but I do hope there's a scientific answer to dark matter some time in the future.

Thank you!

Lynda: The world would be a pretty boring place otherwise!

Hannah: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Margo: Dark matter=unknown. That, at the moment, is pretty much all there is. :P The rest is just theory!

The Words Crafter: It's a hilarious video--you really should watch it! :D

Liz: LOL. Possibly. ;)

Stratoz: Nope, it wouldn't be--there might be something else acting on the universe!

I do, too. :)

Jules: No . . . but it's fun to look this stuff up!

Nate: That seems like an accurate prediction.


Malcolm: Hopefully it will all make sense, if a discovery is made--it seems like if they figure out what dark matter is the answers should fall into place and it will be a whole lot easier to explain . . .

L'Aussie: It's still a theory--although a lot of people seem to count it as fact, and are hunting it as such. But, I suppose, you don't disprove things by not looking for them!

The Golden Eagle said...

Arlee: Probably not me, either! Although I'd love to study physics.

Trisha: It certainly does! :)

Jenny: I'm so glad you find something in what I post. It really means a lot that people are reading--after all, I'm just a blogger among so many!

Rachel: Er, is that question rhetorical? :P

(I still have to get around to reading Angels and Demons. His two other books aren't my favorites, but since I read them and watched the movie of The Da Vinci Code, I may as well read it, right?)

Madeleine: Thank you!

I hope they do!

Stephen: Wouldn't it be cool if they discovered something within the next, say, 10 years?

I'm right with you in that CERN could yield some significant results.

Jai: You've been to the Himalayas? And saw huge golden eagles there? That followed you down the mountain?

Wow. That sounds amazing. :D

M: I've read a few books, too, that talked about dark matter. It's so cool to read about.