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No. 6: February 1979

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Has the universe's missing mass been found?

In the above item, an article from Mosaic was quoted to the effect that 90% of the universe is "unseen." In pursuit of this missing mass, a U.S. team of astronomers has now detected previously unseen halos around several spiral galaxies. The halo luminosities are comparable to the brighter imbedded disks when integrated over a large area surrounding the galaxies. The halo masses, however, as inferred from the galaxies' rotation curves far exceed the masses of the bright spiral cores.

The big question is "What are the dim but massive halos composed of?" They might consist of small, faint stars or nonluminous matter of some sort. The researchers had to conclude, though, that the halos are galactic components of "totally unknown nature."

(Anonymous; "Has the Universe's Missing Mass Been Found?" New Scientist, 80:174, 1978.)

From Science Frontiers #6, February 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987