Part of the reason I find astronomy so exciting is that the things found far off in space are very important to us here on Earth, and so many things on the macro scale of the universe have effects in the very minute scale of the too-small-to-see.
Things we cannot see because of size or distance are very important to us, and things very massive yet hidden by distance are being revealed in new ways all the time. A blurb in slashdot tells about the use of the Very Large Telescope in South America and the discovery of many galaxies previously unknown, which account for up to 90% of the galaxies in the universe –
As much as 90% of previously hidden galaxies in the distant Universe have been found by astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Previous surveys had looked for distant (10 billion light years away) galaxies by searching in a wavelength of ultraviolet light emitted by hydrogen atoms — distant young galaxies should be blasting out this light, but very few were detected. The problem is that the ultraviolet light never gets out of the galaxies, so we never see them. In this new study, astronomers searched a different wavelength emitted by hydrogen, and voila, ten times as many galaxies could be seen, meaning 90% of them had been missed before
Those who are thinking that this is what is referred to as dark matter would be incorrect, because the galaxies are so distant as to barely affect the calculations involved. Dark matter is still an ongoing concept, with no easy explanation thus far.
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