back to article Hubble snaps dark matter warping spacetime

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a 19-hour snapshot of galaxies whose images have been warped by the presence of the baffling interstellar substance known as "dark matter", residing in an intervening galactic cluster. The image, released Thursday, shows the cluster – known prosaically as MACS J1206.2-0847, or simply MACS …


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  1. Wombling_Free

    "which would make it 4.5 billion light years plus 600 kilometers away from us earthlings"

    I heartily commend your accuracy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But how much is that in linguine?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The plus 600 kilometers is the distance between hubble and earth, infact its 569 kilometers :)

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Fantastic image. The people demand more.

    > in the current US political climate, its multi-billion-dollar price tag makes it a prime target...

    Sod that!

    I hear Eric "Fast And Furious" Holder is currently busy stoking the propaganda machine for action against Iran with bad plot devices. Just in time to divert the restless people at home. Don't tell me there isn't space for a few more "billions and billions" (excuses to Carl Sagan) in the Fed's RDBMS.

    Paper money dark matter - nobody sees it, but everyone feels its beguiling pull. And suddenly it's too late.

    1. LaeMing

      All the funding you will ever need.

      Claim dark matter is the same as oil.

      1. Silverburn

        Dark matter?

        Isn't dark matter Niblonian poop?

    2. Thomas 4


      Indeed. We need to investigate the source of this mysterious and malign power and shut it down if we can. Then we can enjoy our star-gazing in peace and quiet.

  3. LesboInMansBody

    The ITelescope

    Maybe the can get Apple to sponsor the new telescope. Perhaps create an app which streams video content from the telescope to billions and billions (I think Carl Sagan and Steve Jobs were related) of IPhone users.

    1. Arnold Lieberman


      I'm sure with Jobs' famous generosity for charitable causes Apple already has a fund waiting to be spent on such a worthwhile endeavour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        An being that today (14 October) is the official/unofficial Steve Jobs Day...

        ...I'm sure the donations will be pouring forth momentarily...or not.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      NO, Apple won't sponsor anything that photographs galaxies, unless it's to make them the same size as an iFad.

  4. EddieElche

    Warped space? That's a Kilngon Bird of Prey decloaking!

  5. Chris Miller

    Dark matter

    does not, as the article claims, make up >90% of the universe - that's the figure for dark matter and dark 'energy' combined. Dark matter is estimated to make up 23% of the universe - still 5 times as much as ordinary baryonic matter.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      I think that dark matter

      Is actually other universes impinging on our space/time.

      A simple analogy would be a person living in 2-D land having their 'floor' pushed up from beneath by an external person in 3-D land.


      1. Robert E A Harvey

        That would be an external person with a warped sense of humour?

      2. TheOtherHobbbes

        That seems unlikely

        unless other universes particularly enjoy pushing at galaxies.

        Although I suppose it's possible - but not very plausible - that dark matter wrinkles created the gravitational wells in which galaxies formed.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Other universes impinging on our space/time

        At that distance they've probably already impinged and it's too late. We're all doomed to invasion from the hordes of Zen and need to call in the Industrial Military Complex to study this in greater detail, starting with funding the telescope.

      4. Robert Ramsay

        This is my thought also.

        In string theory, gravity is not confined to a single universe but is allowed to range through the 'bulk' between universes. The past and the future are special cases of multiple universes, and there is a range of universes encompassing every possibility that has come out of quantum results in the past. As time goes on, you would expect the gravitational effect of 'dark matter' (gravity from other universes) to increase as the number of resulting universes increases. This should be falsifiable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Chris Miller

      The article didn't say 90% of the universe. It said 90% of the matter.

      (I had the same initial reaction but re-read it).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      matter matters

      @Chris Miller

      The statement was not that it made up 90% of the universe, but 90% of the matter in the universe. That statement is correct.

      The total universe, or rather the energy in the universe is made up to ~ 75% of dark energy. That leaves ~25% for matter. Out of those ~25%, ~23% are dark matter. This means that ~92% of all matter dark matter. Exactly what was said in the article.

      1. Chris Miller

        matter *does* matter

        If you want to speak of the total mass/energy of the universe, normal matter makes up slightly less than 5%. If you want to exclude dark energy, then dark matter is about 5/6 of the universe. So in either case, the article is incorrect, and I stand by my comment.

  6. Yag


    Talking about the last sentence, of course.

    By the way, can someone remind me how much the amount spent on the USA presidential race in 2008 was?

    Yes. We're screwed.

  7. Gav

    Spot the duplicates

    It's just a pity that an image wasn't produced that actually identified some of the "47 multiple images of 12 newly identified distant galaxies". I can see objects that appear to be the same, but I'm no expert and one galaxy can look pretty much the same as another.

    A few helpful annotations would have made this picture even more awesome.

    1. Kubla Cant

      "one galaxy can look pretty much the same as another"

      Yeah. That's why I gave up on intergalactic tourism. You travel billions of light-years just to and it's still Starbucks and McDonalds.

  8. Lallabalalla

    Dark Matter?


    1. Uncle Slacky


  9. David Pollard

    Gas Cloud Lensing?

    Professor Bruce Draine, at Princeton, pointed out some while ago that as well as lensing by distant galaxies a similar process could occur with relatively nearby gas clouds.

    It would be interesting to know how many examples of lensing have been examined using spectroscopy to check for the absorption lines that would signify gas cloud rather than galactic.lensing.

  10. Christoph

    Don't investigate the dark matter!

    You might get eaten by a Grue

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont bring Apple in on this

    They'd try to claim they invented dark matter and sue God for patent violation

  12. Bunker_Monkey

    Dark Matter

    It exists, we just havent got our heads around how to detect it...yet

    It'll be everywhere once we do and then we will have our cheap method of transport into space and back.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Emporer's New Woes

    Dark matter, the invisible solution you can't see. My wife bumped into a lump of dark matter the other day. She must be right, there's a dent in the car.

    1. Silverburn

      Mine has..

      ...dark matter in her shoes - she's adamant the scales read 20kg more than they should.

  14. wiggers

    Dark energy...

    ... doesn't exist. The universe is expanding 'cos it's absorbing time. Simple, really.

  15. K. Adams

    My God... It's full of stars!

    And galaxies! And other stuff!

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