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04:20 AM on 08/18/2012
Dark matter is really the 'matter' that is 'very dark'! In fact you can not see it at all. Since you can't see it, it probably doesn't exists. Even if it does exist, as astronomers claim, you still wouldn't be able to see it, since it's very dark....
S Andersen
Human flourishing is the first priority
06:34 AM on 08/18/2012
If you can't see it, it doesn't exist?

That statement opens a huge can of metaphysical (and physical) worms (metaphorical).
08:24 AM on 08/18/2012
Well this is a grave problem in modern physics of today, since the scientist now has to describe a realm of matter and energy that can not be comprehended by the senses. This opens a question whether or not that the findings that we claim to have made are in fact real at all or just mere misrepresentations. The dilemma here is that we still have to rely on our senses and language to describe something that is in fact far beyond that.
08:55 AM on 08/18/2012
Seeing is indeed believing. Till very recently, science has always been based on sensory experience, observation and sensory evidence. Two canonical scientific devices of microscope and telescope are supreme examples of this attitude. Now we are told by the scientific community that at the macro and micro levels of cosmos we can no longer relate to reality through our senses-especially visual perception. Quarks, dark matter, dark energy, big bang and many other so called scientific breakthroughs belong to this category of ' they are there but you just can not see them' sort of an elitist science. That to me is very suspect...
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09:00 AM on 08/18/2012
"Since you can't see it, it probably doesn't exists."

Sound scientific reasoning.
I'm just here to waste time
03:29 AM on 08/18/2012
I see that all the armchair cosmologists are out in force.
OC Surfer
A second is 30 nanoyears.
05:00 AM on 08/18/2012
That's the beauty of science - it isn't owned by anybody.
Everything is falling.
05:09 AM on 08/18/2012
Too hot to sleep this summer night.
USAF combat veteran
03:20 AM on 08/18/2012
Well since they don't know for sure, we should defund them & give that money to the job-makers!*

(*Disclaimer: Since today in modern Western society it is getting increasingly difficult to separate lies, sarcasm, irony, satire, nightmares & the truth from one another, let me point out that my statement is sarcastic.)
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03:03 AM on 08/18/2012
My understanding of dark matter is that it is inferred by the fact that observations cannot find enough normal matter and it's accompanying mass to account for the motions of galaxies by present day theories. Could it be that their observations or theories are flawed? It is supposed to be this unobservable substance which dominates and exerts its influence upon the whole universe. At this point in our understanding one could with as much accuracy call it "The Hand of God".
I am asking for more soup.
03:43 AM on 08/18/2012
RE: "...It is supposed to be this unobservable substance which dominates and exerts its influence upon the whole universe..."

They just observed something from this 'unobservable/ matter.
S Andersen
Human flourishing is the first priority
06:44 AM on 08/18/2012
Not really on the god thing. It's not all as scattershot as it might appear.

We have theories that have proven themselves to be fruitful in making predictions. Because they work, we'd rather not throw them out, not if they can be preserved.

But these theories have some problems. We'd like to solve those problems while keeping the theories as intact as possible but ready to modify them as much as is necessary. Dark matter and dark energy are two aspects of the same problem solution.

If they work out, great. If they don't, we search for a better explanation. Indeed, we always looking for better explanations. Nothing is written in stone. And THAT is why science works.

Science is the most amazing tool ever discovered by humankind.
07:46 AM on 08/18/2012
Good explanation for supporting the existing theories. Unfortunately, group THINK, keeps existing Dogma. Dark Energy matter is hidden in plain sight but, it is momentum energy cmV = cP . The Group Think doesn't accept the idea of Vector Energy. The Universe consists of quaternions, the sum of a scalar and a vector, Energy is a Quatenion quantity.

The Gravity Energy is quaternion energy E= -mGM/r + mcV, this is the answer for 'Dark Energy".
07:52 AM on 08/18/2012
Well said!
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It does not require many words to speak the truth.
01:56 AM on 08/18/2012
I'm dreaming here.. If dark matter is so prevalent why can't there be a form of life that exists in that realm?
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Cyrus Trance
America is not a theocracy.
02:03 AM on 08/18/2012
Dark matter has nothing to do with life
Read the truth or not at all
02:47 AM on 08/18/2012
Dark matter is life, everything is energy, everything. Therefore everything is life, even your thoughts are energy, and every thought lives. That is why it is important to have positive energy thoughts. All energy effects the universe, it is called collective consciousness. If everyone would think only positive thoughts, we could cure the world of negative problems.
02:06 AM on 08/18/2012
You might be on to something. Theosophists call the dark matter invisible to science as etheric matter. They describe physical matter existing on 7 planes: dense physical; liquid physical; gaseous physical; and 4 planes of etheric matter - each plane existing at a higher vibration. One theory goes that life is abundant in the universe, and that life exists on all planets in the solar system, but mostly in the etheric planes of matter.
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Unraveling the mystery . .
03:56 AM on 08/18/2012
One of those planes must reside in my shoulder.  Certainly it must be evil forces - dark matter, if you must - causing the arthritis there. 
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04:17 AM on 08/18/2012
I tend to agree with that...........proving it is another matter.
E=mc2: From light you exist
01:35 AM on 08/18/2012
Reason for skepticism and expected gamma observation is likely from pulsars: pulsars are small, very small (roughly 10 to 20 mile diameter), so too small to physically observe at the center of the galaxy. Instead, we would only observe their gamma ray pulses. Likewise, we would naturally expect more pulsars in the more concentrated center of our observable galaxy (4%). But this doesn't translate to dark matter.

Current dark matter observations are only observable with gravitational lensing (watching light bend as it travels) at the periphery of dark matter edges. It's a leap to expect dark matter follows the same increased gravitational concentration toward the center of a concentrated dark matter location -- an enveloped galaxy. In other words, nothing so far demonstrates dark matter exhibits more concentrated effects in the same way our galaxy works with higher gravitational concentration at it's center. i.e. black holes.

In fact, if this were true, we would expect galaxies to exhibit deferential rotation with increased distance just like we see here in the solar system, but the exact opposite is true in the larger galaxy, which rotates uniformly at all points as a concentrated whole. Galaxy rotation clearly demonstrates dark matter doesn't exhibit expected gravitational effects seen in the observable universe...instead, it's effect is exactly the opposite of what's expected...and not more concentrated at the center.
05:23 AM on 08/18/2012
Pulsars have a regular period of gamma bursts. I'm inferring from this article that the detected beams are more random. It doesn't rule out pulsars 100% (could be many of them in one region I suppose).
E=mc2: From light you exist
02:56 PM on 08/18/2012
Deduction suggests otherwise. Dark matter and dark energy don't exist within our realm even though we detect their influence. Our physical universe, our reality, is constrained by time, but the larger universe has no time constraints. Both dark matter and dark energy (96%) of the observable universe are more likely the sum of nearly infinite distinct realities (past, present and future) overlapping outside of our own which is most likely the reason they don't annihilate one another.
roger stillick
12:00 AM on 08/18/2012
SA is right, and methinks Dark Matter is quite similar to the Ether that late 19th Century Radio Scientists used to explain Radio waves ( Except for Maxwell, they were REALLY wrong )...
What really intrigues me is the pix of the laser stabilizing beam exiting the telescope... Somehow the beam transits the atmosphere and a signal is generated to stabilize the telescope image... way past really impressive, and they aren't bragging about it...they should...REALLY COOL technology, IMHO
OC Surfer
A second is 30 nanoyears.
05:06 AM on 08/18/2012
Adaptive optics. It's been around for decades. It is something else though, you're right. Noise-cancelling headphones work a similar way.
Stoopid American
Trooth, justice, and the American way ...
11:17 PM on 08/17/2012
Here's the thing. Dark matter is supposed to be several times more common in the universe than regular baryonic matter. And yet it has never been observed, in any way. Why should something so common be so elusive? A serious question, I'm not getting this.
11:39 PM on 08/17/2012
Regular baryonic matter interacts with other baryonic matter through the electromagnetic force which has infinite range and is strong. Dark matter probably interacts only through the weak nuclear force, which is much weaker.

Think of it this way... You're blindfolded and wearing plate mail in a swimming pool and you're trying to find a 1 inch diameter blob of jello. And the only tool at your disposal is a baseball bat. Swing away.....
Stoopid American
Trooth, justice, and the American way ...
11:47 PM on 08/17/2012
Heh - love the analogy. I get that WIMPs are weakly interacting (a pun if ever there was oen) but if WIMPs self-annihilate and are so common, why isn't the sky full of WIMP annihilation light?
07:41 PM on 08/17/2012
two pages of Steven Hawkins puts me to sleep like a child, and i awaken in the same delight.

pure magic.
Jt John
Asura's Samsara
07:23 PM on 08/17/2012
Dark matter: cosmic glue.
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07:35 PM on 08/17/2012
Dark energy: cosmic solvent?
Beware of gifts bearing Greeks.
02:48 AM on 08/18/2012
Pee Wee Herman: cosmic mystery.
06:58 PM on 08/17/2012
Matter of the gaps. Energy of the gaps.
Without God, life is everything.
05:30 AM on 08/18/2012
But unlike God of the Gaps, scientists remain skeptical and open to change in light of new evidence.
09:13 AM on 08/18/2012
Some scientists.
06:33 PM on 08/17/2012
The center of our galaxy is obscured to us because we are out among the spiral arms with lot of intervening stars to block the optical view.

Gamma rays could easily be attributed to creation of new stars at the center of the galaxy.

Please do not be taken in by claims of dark matter. The subject is one of intense debate on the cutting edges of astrophysics, with evidence beginning to accumulate against the existence of dark matter.

Respectfully submitted,
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06:55 PM on 08/17/2012
At the center of our galaxy lies a super massive black hole, the gravity well is much too strong for any star formation to take place and even if there were the creation of a star would not produce gamma rays powerful enough to be misinterpreted as WIMPs destroying each other.

Now maybe if you said that the gamma rays were the result of stars being eaten up by the black hole, then maybe I could take your comment as someone who actually new something about astrophysics but no, you opted for "stars created in a giant black hole" which is just ridiculous.
Political agnostic
10:43 PM on 08/17/2012
You too are a having a good conversation. may I butt in to ask a question? If the black hole in the center of our galaxy ingested a large amount of gasses would it give off gamma rays as it ate? Or if one of the stars circling that black hole fell in would it give off gamma rays?
I feel that the presence of gamma rays is not enough to claim dark matter.
Fuzzy peaches in your mouth
05:50 PM on 08/17/2012
I have dark matter when I drink too much Pepto.
Digitized Human
I have a pulse and working coffee maker!
04:46 PM on 08/17/2012
No one really knows what dark matter is, but its only known attribute is that it contains measurable mass. It could simply be quantum particles that have lost all of their energy, and thus produce no measurable attributes other than mass. If that is true, these dead particles, which have mass, could have preceded the big bang. At some point in time, there was enough dark matter in one place to ignite a singularity, which then excited and re-energized of some of this dark matter to create the universe we see today. This could explain why the basic big bang theory has some elements that have spurred controversy for some time. At some point in time, this excited matter will cool, and return to its previous form. . dark matter. Then the process will eventually repeat. Perhaps someday, we will have telescopes powerful enough to see this happen elsewhere in the universe. It could be, that we actually do see this happening in areas of star formation, but have not made the correlation between dark matter and star formation.

All theories are up for grabs on dark matter at this point in time.
Stoopid American
Trooth, justice, and the American way ...
11:21 PM on 08/17/2012
The problem I have with WIMPs is that they are a particle made up to fit a set of observations. There really needs to be some empirical evidence before physicists can settle on a consensus. It's like string theory: a beautiful mathematical model, which may explain everything or may have nothing to do with anything. Without empirical evidence, it's all just rigorous speculation.
I Think, therefore I POST!
11:18 AM on 08/18/2012
You're right, of course - WIMPS are speculative - its dark matter that isn't - we detect it in many ways, and this report describes another potential way to detect it, but until we see the unmistakable signature of WIMPS in our high energy physics detectors, we can only speculate. I should note that current particle theories require that there be WIMPS – supersymmetry arguments require them, and string theory has room for them (and a whole lot more, since string theory is the only self-consistent theory we have that includes gravity naturally) but they’re not real untill we detect them.
Ian McCullough
I love to live and live to love the life I lead
04:39 PM on 08/17/2012
What I have found interesting about nothingness is that the only observation we have on it is that it creates something.
06:26 PM on 08/17/2012
Greatly worded.
07:26 PM on 08/17/2012
u made it fun.

where'd that come from?