Seeing dark matter in a new light


Research News


A small team of astronomers have found a new way to ‘see’ the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists currently estimate that up to 85% of the mass in the universe is effectively invisible. This ‘dark matter’ cannot be observed directly, because it does not interact with light in the same way as the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets, and life on Earth.

So how do we measure what cannot be seen? The key is to measure the effect of gravity that the dark matter produces.

Pol Gurri, the PhD student at Swinburne University of Technology who led the new research, explains: “It’s like looking at a flag to try to know how much wind there is. You cannot see the wind, but the flag’s motion tells you how strongly the wind is blowing.”

The new research focuses on an effect called weak gravitational lensing, which is a feature of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. “The dark matter will very slightly distort the image of anything behind it,” says Associate Professor Edward Taylor, who was also involved in the research. “The effect is a bit like reading a newspaper through the base of a wine glass.”

Weak gravitational lensing is already one of the most successful ways to map the dark matter content of the Universe. Now, the Swinburne team has used the ANU 2.3m Telescope in Australia to map how gravitationally lensed galaxies are rotating. “Because we know how stars and gas are supposed to move inside galaxies, we know roughly what that galaxy should look like,” says Gurri. “By measuring how distorted the real galaxy images are, then we can figure out how much dark matter it would take to explain what we see.”

The new research shows how this velocity information enables a much more precise measurement of the lensing effect than is possible using shape alone. “With our new way of seeing the dark matter,” Gurri says, “we hope to get a clearer picture of where the dark matter is, and what role it plays in how galaxies form.”

Future space missions such as NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Euclid Space Telescope are designed, in part, to make these kinds of measurements based on the shapes of hundreds of millions of galaxies. “We have shown that we can make a real contribution to these global efforts with a relatively small telescope built in the 1980s, just by thinking about the problem in a different way,” adds Taylor.


From EurekAlert!

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M Courtney
November 7, 2020 10:28 pm

This method works even if Dark Matter is defined as the difference between theory and reality.

Reply to  M Courtney
November 8, 2020 12:34 am

Yep. There’s a controversy about whether dark matter even exists. Here’s a good article that sets out the argument on the pro side. On the other hand, one of the critics has had some success predicting things that were later observed. link

In the first linked article, there is this:

A scientific truth will accurately describe every phenomenon relevant to it. If the idea behind the truth — the overarching framework, model, or theory — is particularly strong, it can even make new predictions about phenomena we haven’t yet observed. It can tell us what to go out and look for.

If a theory can be twisted and bent to explain all the observed phenomena, it is useless. A theory becomes useful only when it makes successful predictions. So, how many successful predictions have been made by the alarmist climate scientists?

Reply to  commieBob
November 8, 2020 2:39 am

“how many successful predictions have been made by the alarmist climate scientists?”

With or without twisting ?

Dark Matter is like the Heat that sunk to the bottom of the oceans.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Robertvd
November 8, 2020 12:05 pm

Successful alarmist predictions without twisting? ZERO. There is not one shred of defensible science that supports the contention that CO2 warms climate in any way. In fact, CO2 and water vapor are radiative gases and serve to cool climate during night-time and have no effect during daytime because they are saturated and emitting and absorbing equally. This is exactly why alarmists will not and refuse to debate with real scientists.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  commieBob
November 8, 2020 7:45 am

Dark Matter is not a theory in reality.
Its a mathematical construct where every detected affect of an unknown source in a certain category of influences, is rammed into the interpretation machine and comes out the other end as evidence.

All influences on the universe we can detect, that have no discovered source, that fall outside of this category, are excluded without reason other than they don’t fit the dark matter construct.

So called gravitational rings for example, could well actually be caused by the same undetected matter or matters that are alleged to make up missing mass and cause visible distortions. BUT because another theory has claimed that phenomenon (gravitational lensing) or slightly more valid (refraction) then it’s off the table as a possible effect of matter or matters we cant see

Charles Higley
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 8, 2020 12:18 pm

The real problem with the Big Bang Theory and Dark Physics is that, normally, one observed something in nature and then tried to establish the mathematical relationships that describe it. Instead, the scientists (more accurately, mathematicians) have started with pure mathematics and then tried to have the Universe match their thinking. Nature does not do infinity, but mathematics can have gravity go to infinity, no problem, thus inventing black holes. Einstein, Oppenheimer, and even NASA say that black holes do not exist. This explains why there are nine models for black holes, because none match the observed Universe. But they want to go looking for black holes (more finding, please) and figure out the details of why the models do not work later. However, to have a Big Bang story, you have to believe that nature does infinity and, expansively, the possibility of a Multiverse of Universes, which is completely absurd. Add to this the fact that string theory is completely unverified experimentally and you have a lot of people mentally playing with themselves.

With a Big Band Universe, we will never know what came before or what is around the expanding universe. With a Steady State Electric Universe, we can explain virtually everything we observe, including galaxy function and maintenance, but we will never know where the Universe came from or where it is going. There are somethings man can never know.

Reply to  Charles Higley
November 10, 2020 6:24 am

Well, Plasma Cosmology / Electric Universe does a much better job of describing the observed phenomena than the standard model, but it takes a bit of effort to understand plasma and its behavior so never mind. For those stalwart souls willing to be branded cranks or heretics, here is a starting point.

Reply to  James Walter
November 10, 2020 8:39 am

Thank you for your response. From other comments on this article it seems as if awareness of PC/EU is spreading.

I’m familiar with the links you posted and agree they are valuable. Every weekday I make sure to visit the Picture of the Day pages.

There are two things i would like to see from the EU “infrastructure”:

1. Put out a press release for every single relevent article in the news.

2. Rigorously separate EU physics publications from the speculative anthropological evidence that backs EU theory.

I would make these suggestions directly to some EU “authority” if I had any contact information.

James Walter
Reply to  jackokie
November 10, 2020 1:31 pm

Wal Thornhill is the best person to contact, but remember these people are not well funded. The Thunderbolts project has a news report, but not every day. I subscribe to them and See The Pattern, the latter of which is the most prolific. Still, there stuff is pretty high quality. And, btw, I think See The Pattern helps check Thunderbolts and Thornhill and call them out when they are “wrong” – true science, not “consensus” BS
I have commented to them about separating the “historical”/myth speculation from the science. Thunderbolts also supports or at least lets speak a guy about electrical cures to diseases that has absolutely no data backing him up. But, as we say here in Austria/Germany, “Es kommt wie es kommt”. Heck, not even I am perfect. But I have people I recommended them to reject them because of the myth/historical extrapolations.
Thanks for your comments

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  M Courtney
November 8, 2020 7:31 am

Dark matter isn’t a thing. Its a general classification for a matter, matters, energy or energies that we cannot detect yet.

2 centuries ago, x ray galaxies effects on other bodies would today be classified as effects of dark matter because we couldn’t detect the EM waves

Charles Higley
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 8, 2020 12:24 pm

The big problem is the ingenuous assumption that we can observe all the matter in a galaxy, thus assuming it is all hot enough to emit light. Cold matter will not emit and will thus be not seen. A few years ago, a couple of young astronomy grad students, exploring with a telescope, pantingly reported that they had found all kinds of cold matter out there that was not considered in galaxy physics. They were told to shut up and get out, because they were not following the party line. Cold matter does not officially exist, although the existence of the Oort Cloud around Earth and the Asteroid Belt, clearly belie this position. We have an entrenched orthodoxy in astronomy that protects itself and has a great finding stream that they will protect at all costs.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 9, 2020 4:20 pm

The “missing mass problem” is real. The mass of all visible matter in galaxies is insufficient for a spiral galaxy to exist without flying apart.

The controversy centers around the contention the cold, dark matter hidden in or around galaxies (Called MACJHOS AND WIMPS) is NON-BARYONIC .

In the late 90’s, Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Rudi Schild published papers showing that the cold dark matter actually is BARYONIC (ie the ordinary matter we see around us). Schild used gravitational microlensing to detect rich, abundant Earth sized gaseous planets hovering as a halo around galaxies. Schild dubbed these to be “rogue planets”.

Reply to  posa
November 10, 2020 1:17 am

No. No. No.

“The mass of all visible matter in galaxies is insufficient for a spiral galaxy to exist without flying apart. ”

Per the “math”.

The math is wrong, not the observation. Get the math to fit observations.

Don’t tell me wood should burn at 450c per “this mathematical model” then say the observed flash point of 250c is wrong because “there’s some other factor we can’t find that causes the model to be wrong”.

Reply to  TheM
November 10, 2020 7:34 am

Your comments are incoherent.

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  M Courtney
November 8, 2020 9:11 am

Exactly. If you use circular reasoning you can always prove what you postulate.

The universe doesn’t match our theory, let’s save our theory by postulating dark matter/energy, oh, look, the things that didn’t match our theory prove dark matter/energy.

As Granny Klampett used to say, “just pitiful.”

Charles Higley
Reply to  M Courtney
November 8, 2020 12:01 pm

Until they effectively and realistically show that electromagnetism (EM) is not involved in galaxy functions, Dark Matter is simply not acceptable. The simplistic and juvenile assumption was adopted early on that all EM in the Universe is neutral. This is patently wrong, but they ran with it and cobbled up out of thin air a whole Dark Physics, Energy, Matter, and Force, which they pretend are undetectable, but, thankfully, Dark Matter has gravitational effects that hold galaxies together. Occam’s Razor is being totally ignored and we are paying for this rubbish research.

Reply to  Charles Higley
November 11, 2020 2:08 am

I suck at maths, I cannot keep up with cosmology (CCM anybody?) and my EM theory is incomplete, yet I doubt the existence of dark matter etc, including black holes, for one reason: If Hollywood sells it, it is lies, and Hollywood is just too enamoured of these Dark Mutterers.
Hollywood includes, of course, the whole gamut of “official sources”, from CNN to Hill McGraw. Nearly all my textbooks in college were publiched by them, and then Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch et cie bought up the entire market. I call this new breed of researcher “Sciencers”. Their ‘science’ will magic up any proof you can pay for…
But I have to say, I discovered this site less than 24 hours ago, and I just cannot leave! Did you-all see that article about El Nino/La Nina? Wow!!! I actually turned on my cookies!

Rod Evans
November 7, 2020 11:49 pm

When an entire scientific community tell you, they have a real and complete understanding about 15% of the fabric of the universe. Then follow that up with, but of course, we have no idea what the other 85% actually is, or where it is. We can’t see it we can’t even produce a theory of what it is, but we know it exists because our core theories fall apart without it. You have to ask, should we take a look at the core theories again?
Feynman’s famous “how you test a theory” comes to mind, every time the magic of dark matter comes up.

Reply to  Rod Evans
November 10, 2020 8:54 am

Yes, it’s like they’ve never heard of Richard Feynman or his lectures: “it doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”. There are many lab experiments that back up Plasma Cosmology, Birkeland currents, and z-pinch effects, but it’s as if the astrophysics community maintained their own Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

November 8, 2020 12:18 am

The “MISSING MASS” (AKA ‘dark matter’) looks as though space was elastically-stretched by proximal lumps of NOT-SO-MISSING-MASS.

Ron Long
November 8, 2020 2:19 am

Interesting, but the topic of dark matter is made even more complicated by the theory of “dark energy”. The universe is accelerating in it’s expansion, something that requires more than the start-up big bang. This dark energy is theorized to be negative energy, acting as anti-gravity. The issue of accelerating expansion is whether it is being pushed from the middle or pulled from exterior? So here comes the theory that dark matter is controlled by dark energy, and that dark energy is anti-gravity. But now we have the claim that you can view dark matter by gravitational lensing, as the Einstein theory of relativity predicts? How are astrophysicists going to reconcile the two simultaneous abilities of dark matter and associated dark energy, acting as gravity and anti-gravity at the same time? No idea.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 8, 2020 6:12 am

Last thing I heard was that gravity is a curvature in time. Antigravity would be going back in time then?

Btw, this video is fascinating: “The REAL source of Gravity might SURPRISE you…”

He really made me understand something I never could imagine. Gravity is no longer a mystery to me. 🙂

old construction worker
Reply to  Scarface
November 8, 2020 1:08 pm

I’m still wanting to know why the universe is somewhat flat. I understand “inflation”, “space is expanding” “nothing can travel through the universe faster than the speed of light” and electromagnetism holds everything together.

Reply to  old construction worker
November 9, 2020 8:50 am

If you understand how space is expanding, please explain it to the rest of us.

Charles Higley`
Reply to  Ron Long
November 8, 2020 12:30 pm

As the expanding Universe is entirely predicated on redshift of light by receding objects, they specifically ignore that gravity can have the same effect. Quasars have been clearly shown to be local to galaxies and show rapidly decreasing redshifts as they recede for their parent galaxy. It is interesting that most astronomers only give gravity its due when talking about blackholes and suddenly blackholes can redshift gamma radiation to X-ray radiation. If gravity works one place, it has to work everywhere. This is the Achilles Heal of the Big Bang Hypothesis (not theory because it has never been really proven, just assumed).

Reply to  Charles Higley`
November 10, 2020 9:10 am

Just the fact that highly redshifted quasars have been found in front of low redshift galaxies (see NGC 7319) is enough to challenge the whole expanding universe idea, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever the anomaly – uppity quasars that don’t know their place, or that every comet visited up close by spacecraft looks and behaves like a rocky asteroid rather than a dirty snowball – the pop-sci astrophysical establishment marches on.

Robert of Ottawa
November 8, 2020 5:06 am

Hold on, according to the caption I understand that this new technique involves artists’ impressions?

November 8, 2020 5:21 am

I’m guessing dark matter is basically dust and plasma which is everywhere in the Universe but we just can’t see it, not some magical undetected quantum particle or two. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. But then all these physicists need to be paid looking for it.

Reply to  rbabcock
November 8, 2020 8:37 am

If it were dust, the resulting spectra of emissions from behind the dark matter would show scattering, polarization, and added IR emissions. I do not believe such phenomena are observed.

Charles Higley
Reply to  DHR
November 8, 2020 12:55 pm

Do not forget that the cold dust in in the galaxy being observed. No light, really, behind it to have effects. When you have millions of stars, do you really think you are going to detect scattering by dust?

Joel O'Bryan
November 8, 2020 6:03 am

“Because we know how stars and gas are supposed to move inside galaxies, we know roughly what that galaxy should look like,” says Gurri.

No, the young student is wrong. We don’t know why stars and gas move as observed in spiral galaxies, supposedly surrounded by mysterious Dark Matter.

The structure of spiral arms is a mystery best explained as density waves. Read here:

However as the above news article makes clear to lay reader, “determining what creates the denser waves is still an open question.”

When you have the wrong paradigm, all one can do is flounder trying to makes observations fit a wrong theory.

Richard Feynman called this sort of stuff “cargo cult science.” His analogy was the Pacific native islanders didn’t understand the fundamental reason the cargo planes had to arrive and deliver their wondrous goods. TO them the runways were built and airplanes started arriving. But the arriving had nothing to do the runways themselves. So when airplanes don’t return its has nothing to do with the design of new runways built by the natives in hopes of their return.

So too it is with modern global climate models on increasing GHG emissions, like the Dark Matter explanation of internal dynamics of galactic rotations. A fundamental misunderstanding exists that forms negative knowledge. Negative knowledge is knowing something that ain’t so and thus hinders truth seeking.

Dark Matter (lambda-CDM theory) is the GHG Climate “cargo cult” theory of astrophysics. They are both very likely to be wrong paradigms that form learning barriers to positive knowledge seeking.

Len Werner
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 8, 2020 6:13 am

“Negative knowledge is knowing something that ain’t so and thus hinders truth seeking.”

Did you just accurately describe religion?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Len Werner
November 8, 2020 7:59 am

Religions are faith based. New revelations are always shoe-horned to fit the dogma and scripture. Dogma is never discarded.
Actual science is evidence-based. And when the evidence changes, so too does the state of the science. Bad hypotheses and theories can get discarded.

Consensus climate science on incomplete evidence is faith-based “trust us, we’re scientists” hucksterism. It is hucksterism because it is then used to promote and sell enormously expensive ideological-social agendas to a naive public, with the fame and fortune (careers) it provides to the proponents. That is why scientists who become public policy advocates in their own field cease to being scientists, even though most don’t realize it. James Hansen is the original Poster Child for science turned to pseudoscience advocacy.
When the climate evidence changes, the evidence is shoe-horned to fit the climate dogma, i.e. the Scripture according to the Climate Prophets.

Reply to  Len Werner
November 8, 2020 8:40 am

Faith, a logical domain. Religion is a moral philosophy, a behavioral protocol, including its relativistic subset “ethics”. Religions are dictated by God (i.e. universal frame of reference), gods (and goddesses), and mortal gods (i.e. selective, opportunistic, relativistic, politically congruent or “equitable”). Then there are the diverse accompanying accessories of culture and such, including: parades, ceremonies, rites (e.g. sacrificial), etc.

November 8, 2020 6:17 am

“Image: Artist’s impression of a galaxy surrounded by gravitational distortions due to dark matter.”

Another artistic impression because they can not show an actual image.

““The dark matter will very slightly distort the image of anything behind it,” says Associate Professor Edward Taylor, who was also involved in the research. “The effect is a bit like reading a newspaper through the base of a wine glass.”

“through the base of a wine glass”!?
These people read newspapers through wine glasses? Wine glasses that are rounded, with variations of thickness or have stems?

This smacks of delusion.

“Now, the Swinburne team has used the ANU 2.3m Telescope in Australia to map how gravitationally lensed galaxies are rotating. “Because we know how stars and gas are supposed to move inside galaxies, we know roughly what that galaxy should look like,” says Gurri. “By measuring how distorted the real galaxy images are, then we can figure out how much dark matter it would take to explain what we see.”

“we know roughly what that galaxy should look like”
Couple that their hubris laden claim “what that galaxy should look like”.

“The design of the 2.3m Telescope, also called the Advanced Technology Telescope, incorporated three radical features never before combined in a single instrument – an uncommonly thin mirror, an alt-az mount, and a rotating building”

A relatively small reflector telescope using a thin mirror susceptible to flexing and viewing magnified miniscule points of light viewed through distortions caused by Earth’s atmosphere effects that severely trouble astronomers?
Let alone that those images are caught on ccd camera with a maximum resolution 15 micron pixel?
Pure hubris.

“to map how gravitationally lensed galaxies are rotating”

And they’ve performed these ‘observations’ and ‘measurements’ for the eons necessary? Captured measurements that clearly define specific galactic rotation and orbits
Perhaps they’ve sent space probes?

And they’ve clearly mapped what is behind the lensed images as well as explicitly defined what is lensed?

“The new research shows how this velocity information enables a much more precise measurement of the lensing effect than is possible using shape alone. “With our new way of seeing the dark matter,” Gurri says, “we hope to get a clearer picture of where the dark matter is, and what role it plays in how galaxies form.”

There is that amazing claim “much more precise”?
Who knew that “precise” includes artist images, distortions and estimates?

One suspects that “Publish or Perish” is a significant motive here.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  ATheoK
November 8, 2020 7:29 am

Astronomy suffers from the same type of mass delusions as climate science does, as does it affect many other fields

Mass delusion in science is the norm, history shows this to be very true in theoretical fields, with almost all of the actual significant advances coming from the minority who were external to the mass delusion.
We Live in an Era of Mass Delusion

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 8, 2020 9:32 am

“Mark – Helsinki November 8, 2020 at 7:29 am
Astronomy suffers from the same type of mass delusions as climate science does”

Yes and no.
Yes, there does seem to be significant movement by illerati and glitterati to love delusional flights of fancy put forth by glory seeking fiction writers regarding outer space as visualized by Star Trek.

No, in that the amateur astronomer base is very serious about what is and can be legitimately described and what might be, but is not legitimately described.

Let’s face it, optical and radiative calculations tend to be rigorously tested and discussed. No-one in astronomy gets away with specious optical or radiative claims like the magical mystical CO₂ claims in climate alarmism.

Yes, that modern gravitational and dark matter theories and their necessary mathematical equations are freely circulated, sometimes heralded or glorified but rarely verified.
Few of these glory seeking theories are capable of surviving strenuous independent replication and rigor that are still frequently applied to Einstein’s theories.

“Mass delusion in science is the norm, history shows this to be very true in theoretical fields, with almost all of the actual significant advances coming from the minority who were external to the mass delusion”

An excellent summation! I heartily agree.

Curious George
Reply to  ATheoK
November 8, 2020 7:30 am

Not the best recommendation for the Swinburne University of Technology.

Mark - Helsinki
November 8, 2020 7:07 am

Dark matter is simply a classification for something we cannot yet detect.

It is NOT a specific thing that we can actually classify as a specific type of energy or matter

Dark matter is any matter that we cannot detect that has an effect on celestial bodies.
We just don’t know what it is

If we went back a hundred years or so, any detected influence via EM waves on other bodies would today be classed as dark matter because back then we would not detect the EM waves

It’s the same today. Dark Matter is a catch all for something OR things, that we cannot see, that produce physical effects we cannot detect.

We don’t even know if what we cannot detect is one energy OR matter, or many energies or matters.

Can we not be honest about this in Astronomy… probably not

Norman Blanton
November 8, 2020 7:13 am


Mark - Helsinki
November 8, 2020 7:38 am

Dark matter is born of the same type of mass delusion that led to the absolute nonsense of a singularity.

A mathematical construct, that exists in calculations only, that is seized upon by the entire astronomical and mathematical community as the only tool to work on a problem they had no other way of investigating is nothing more than that. A hypothetical system that allows you to tinker with the innards of what is absolutely not based in the physical world as anything other than a guess based on other effects you can see.

Over time it became a real physical thing, and the roots of what it really was, a mathematical construct, vanished.

You CANNOT assign physical properties to a mathematical only construct and and be an objective honest scientist.

You can admit it’s the only construct you have to work with.

Much of Astronomy is like this.
Mass delusions are self sustaining until technology catches up to dispel the illusion.

Paul Penrose
November 8, 2020 8:09 am

Dark matter and CAGW both suffer from the following fallacy: It’s the only thing we can think of, so it must be right. This is related to “This is the best data we have, so we are going to use it” syndrome. In both cases it comes down to the inability to admit that one simply does not know, and perhaps at the present time, can’t know. So they speculate, using fancy terms, convoluted math, and tortured logic in a bid to convince others (and perhaps themselves) that they actually do know. I have no problem with speculation; it is after all the seed of all theories, but don’t label it as knowledge. As far as I’m concerned, both Dark Matter and CAGW are both speculations that may have advanced to the level of hypothesis, but certainly not theory. This makes them interesting areas to study for specialists and fun to watch for enthusiasts, but useless for the rest of us.

November 8, 2020 8:44 am

Inferring an object, a universe to meet, ostensibly “secular” expectations motivated by an image formed from signals of assumed/asserted… unknown fidelity. Science has evolved through a conflation of logical domains as the art and practice of plausible.

Harry Davidson
November 8, 2020 8:52 am

I am not any shade of expert in this area, but whenever I read about dark matter I fully expect some clever bloke to come along with a brand new super clever theory that explains everything and reduces dark matter to the status of a modern phlogiston.

James Walter
November 8, 2020 9:10 am

Scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have published a paper which reported the successful formation of galaxies without the hypothetical influence of dark matter. As reported by, “For the first time, researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter. To replicate this process on the computer, they have instead modified Newton’s laws of gravity. The galaxies that were created in the computer calculations are similar to those we actually see today. According to the scientists, their assumptions could solve many mysteries of modern cosmology.”

“However, the claim that this is “the first time” that scientists have successfully simulated galaxy formation and motions without dark matter is not correct. ”

“A team of scientists using the ALMA telescope to study the doughnut-shaped cloud of gas and dust at the center of the galaxy NGC 1068 made a shocking discovery — two separate disks of gas and dust are rotating in opposite directions.

“ reports on the team’s discovery, “Unexpectedly, they found two counter-rotating disks of gas. The inner disk spans two to four light-years and follows the rotation of the galaxy, whereas the outer disk (also known as the torus) spans 4 to 22 light years and is rotating the opposite way.” The lead author of a paper on the discovery states, “We did not expect to see this, because gas falling into a black hole would normally spin around it in only one direction. Something must have disturbed the flow, because it is impossible for a part of the disk to start rotating backward all on its own.” Violette Imperllizzeri, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
And the only explanation they could offer was that, “…counter rotation always results from the collision or interaction between two galaxies. What makes this result remarkable is that we see it on a much smaller scale, tens of light-years instead of thousands from the central black hole.”
“And of course, their amazement is the result of two different errors that are actually compounding each other and making the whole thing worse. The first is, since they still refuse to acknowledge the existence of any electrical effects in the cosmos, the only tool available to them is the attractive force of gravity.
“So of course, they declare that any case of counter-rotation has to be caused by some sort of collision or near collision or near-miss or something like that. And the second error, expressly in this press release but in other places of course as well, they repeat the self-contradictory idea that black holes that suck in matter due to a singularity — that’s an infinite concentration of matter which is impossible — they also spit out
matter at incredibly high speeds up to five hundred kilometers per second, which is more than a million miles an hour. It’s all getting sucked in, how can it be blasted out again? But anyway, how can this have
anything at all to do with the counter rotation in this particular case is not really discussed.
“I feel that their mentioning of the black hole that exists there is just a red herring to distract the reader from asking the obvious question, how do you explain the counter rotation in the first place?”

old construction worker
Reply to  James Walter
November 8, 2020 1:41 pm

“…because gas falling into a black hole..” It is assumed “gas” and “light matter” is falling into a black hole. For all I know light matter spins around the outside and only “dark matter” falls into a black hole.

November 8, 2020 9:15 am

Again, I think Mach’s Principle is a much more reasonable approach to explain the “dark matter” illusion. Matter defines space and time, and uniform movement of matter will drag space with it. This has been confirmed with regard to the Lense Thirring effect.

NZ Willy
November 8, 2020 10:42 am

The comments here are quite good. “Dark Matter” just quantifies the difference between what’s happening and what our models say should be happening. So we pretend there’s a real “thing” out there causing the discrepancy, ie, “dark matter”, instead of that our models are just lousy. By adding some curvature to space-time, a lot of the discrepancy can be explained.

Robert of Texas
November 8, 2020 10:57 am

Observation does not match prediction, therefore something is wrong. Either
1) there is more mass that we are not measuring in and around the galaxies,
2) or gravity is not working as we expect at galaxy sized scales.

Dark matter could be in many forms DESPITE what some astronomers seem to claim – I think many astronomers are over-confident in what they think is a known. It could be lots of small masses – dark planets, dim brown dwarfs, tiny black holes; or it could be normal matter that is not interacting enough to be measured, or it could be their favorite which is some new exotic matter.

There also could be a problem with how gravity behaves over large enough scales. It might not be that the theories around gravity itself are wrong, but an incomplete understanding of space-time at these large scales – perhaps it is warped in a way we do not yet understand (which could be lots of normal matter we can’t see).

I for one lean towards there is a lot more normal matter out around galaxies then we can see in the form of small (less than needed to create a visible star) lumps of matter or more small black holes than predicted.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 10, 2020 9:36 am

Or 3) the objects moving through the cosmic plasma acquire an electrical charge and are thus affected by the electrical force (approximately 34 to 39 orders of magnitude greater than gravity). Plasma Cosmology accounts for the otherwise inexplicable behavior of the arms of spiral galaxies, as well as many other phenomena.

Charles Higley
November 8, 2020 1:31 pm

Let’s get to the crux of it. Gravity is supposed to be 10^34 the strength of electromagnetism (EM). This is one 100th of a billionth, billionth, billionth that of EM. We also know that important structures such as the bilayer membrane of all living cells are held together by London dispersion forces (LDS), also known as van der Waals forces. These are clearly local forces caused by uneven EM, but no one has ever conjectured that such forces could work at higher levels. If any two molecules are subject to LDFs, then large particles would also have EM effects on each other, but weaker from distance, and so on upward. So, can anyone show that gravity is not simply a residual LDF effect? One part in 10^34 is very small and proportional to the masses involved. Since you cannot have mass without inherent charges, in the form of quarks and electrons, it is impossible to have mass without proportional inherent charge. Yes, the overall charge in two objects might be neutral, but it has to be shown that all those inherent charges are no creating LDF effects.

This might explain why gravity as a force has been so hard to nail down and insert into the unified theory, it might not exist. Cool.

James Walter
Reply to  Charles Higley
November 9, 2020 12:17 am

Are you a reader/supporter of the Electric Universe? Wal Thornhill, one of the lead authors, and others think that gravity is electromagnetic force within the atom: here is a video of the same idea:
Another author, Ray Gallucci, has presented a mathematical analysis that supports him:
HOWEVER, another scientist I follow, has rational, serious doubts that pretty much debunk Thornhill:
That same person/site, has some other theories about problems and what gravity is which he explains in three videos:
Problems with gravity theories:
La Sage’s concept:
Tom van Flandern’s:

Perhaps a correction to your post? “Gravity is supposed to be 10^34 the strength of electromagnetism (EM).” I think you left out the minus in 10^-34? Your post confirms that.

November 9, 2020 11:45 am

“Because we know how stars and gas are supposed to move inside galaxies,”

The money quote.

November 9, 2020 1:19 pm

It seem to me to be nothing more than refraction.
Should have very similar effects.

Mark - Helsinki
November 9, 2020 5:03 pm

Alleged space time warping would not change the colour of light it bends because to the light its still a straight line.

It’s either refracted light or possibly molecular matter coupled with some unexplained phenomenon of a nature we dont understand.

in a hypothetical universe of Gravity and explosions, you are going to get lots of really dodgy theories.
Those are not the two defining things that give the universe it’s variety

Besides, the alleged original singularity that contained all of the mass, would generate a space time curvature the energy could not overcome. After all black holes don’t blow apart in theoretical astrophysics, so an external input of energy to break that balance is needed, but there is no such external source is there, none nada nil

So the whole house of cards really rests on creating energy out of nothing, something we are told constantly by the minds who push the above, is not possible 🙂

When one considers the whole patchwork of theories that make up the universe as we know it, in English, the nonsensical becomes apparent, and it’s glaring.

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