“The stars are matter. We’re matter. But it doesn’t matter.” — Captain Beefheart
For years laymen have felt puzzled by “dark matter,” an unscientific term scientists use to describe the invisible substance that supposedly accounts for 83 percent of the matter in the universe. So it was less than comforting to read yesterday that scientists were and still are as puzzled as the rest of us:
According to widely accepted theories, the neighborhood around the sun should be filled with dark matter, with billions of these particles rushing through us every second. However, the most accurate study yet of motions of stars in the Milky Way now has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the sun…
“Our results contradict the currently accepted models — the mystery of dark matter has just become even more mysterious,” said study lead author Christian Moni Bidin, an astronomer at the University of Concepción in Chile…
Yes, indeedy. So why does the Milky Way rotate much more quickly than visible matter alone can account for?
“Strictly speaking, the results do not say that dark matter does not exist — they only say it is not here,” Moni Bidin told SPACE.com. “We have not proven that dark matter does not exist, and even if we do, at this point we cannot explain many other phenomena that today are explained only by dark matter.”
I’m beginning to see the light. Pass me that bong, Professor.