Dark Matter --Could It Play a Role in Creating Life in the Universe? (Today's Most Popular)
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August 30, 2012

Dark Matter --Could It Play a Role in Creating Life in the Universe? (Today's Most Popular)

 

          Hubble-dark-energy-825x804

 

Dark matter makes up the majority of mass in our universe. However, we cannot directly measure the stuff as it doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation (i.e. it doesn't emit or reflect any light), but we can indirectly observe its presence. In the Hubble Space Telescope image above, the distribution of mostly dark matter has been calculated and mapped. Basically, the location and density of anything with mass has been plotted in a 3D representation of the cosmos.

A 2011 study suggests that mysterious, invisible dark matter could warm millions of starless planets in regions such as Abell 1689 (image below) and make them habitable.

Scientists think the invisible, as-yet-unidentified dark matter which we know exists because of the gravitational effects it has on galaxies, makes up about 85 percent of all matter in the universe.  Current prime candidates for what dark matter might be are massive particles that only rarely interact with normal matter.
These particles could be their own antiparticles, meaning they annihilate each other when they meet, releasing energy. These invisible particles could get captured by a planet's gravity and unleash energy that could warm that world, according to physicist Dan Hooper and astrophysicist Jason Steffen at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
           Abell_1689-gravlens-hires-smex
Hooper and Steffen's propose that rocky "super-Earths" in regions with high densities of slow-moving dark matter could be warmed enough to keep liquid water on their surfaces, even in the absence of additional energy from starlight or other sources.The density of dark matter is expected to be hundreds to thousands of times greater in the innermost regions of the Milky Way and in the cores of dwarf spheroidal galaxies than it is in our solar system.

The scientists concluded that on planets in dense "dark-matter" regions, it may be dark matter rather than light that creates the basic elements you need for organic life without a star"

Dark matter, the team believes, could keep the surfaces of such warm for trillions of years, outliving all regular stars and may ultimately prove to be the "dark" bastion of life in our universe.

"I imagine 10 trillion years in the future, when the universe has expanded beyond recognition and all the stars in our galaxy have long since burnt out, the only planets with any heat are these here, and I could imagine that any civilization that survived over this huge stretch of time would start moving to these dark-matter-fueled planets," Hooper said in an interview with space.com.

The Daily Galaxy via astrophysical journal

Comments

A highly speculative essay with no basis has been chosen to postulate that life in visible matter originated due to the effect of extremely dense dark matter in the neighborhood! Life on Earth has come about only in the last 50,000 years while the Earth got formed as a planet of our Sun about some millions years back and the Universe itself came into being 14 billion years ago. From the start both dark and visible matter have existed as two components of creation. What dark matter is is as yet not scientifically understood except that it has got repulsive gravity towards visible matter component. One needs to go to the nature of primordial matter and how it converted into small 5 % visible matter and rest 95 % dark matter/energy remains not understood! Yes, conjectures have been made that dark matter may well be consisting of initial primordial matter that remained while a small part got converted into visible matter as we know it today. To me 6 quarks and 6 leptons as per Standard model form the basis for visible matter and taking that analogy backward, we may postulate that dark matter may consist of the predecessors of visible matter constituents that could not decay into the basic constituents of visible matter. These may well be some kind very much heavier quarks that we do not see anymore in our visible world. These may well be existing in free state if we can observe our Universe as it was during its first billion years of existence, about close to 13 billion years away!! Appears impossible to see in any cosmological experiment conducted today! However, these may appear as nascent particles if we develop still higher energy machines like LHC where such material particles may appear along with so-called Higg's bosons with still heavier mass compared to the Higg's! It appears foolish to follow such costly adventures in life at present.

Narenda: "Life on Earth has come about only in the last 50,000 years...."

What???

Narenda, you need to check your facts; you come across as someone spouting something they copied and pasted. "the Earth got formed as a planet of our Sun about some millions years back and the Universe itself came into being 14 billion years ago."

Um, the sun formed 4 billion years ago....

Sun was formed six billion years ago, the earth more or less cooled down to its (much larger) state four billion years ago, and life.. glorious glorious life formed about one and half or two billion years ago. The rise of multicelluar organisms and its myriad complexity started about 600 million years ago. The crocodile was born about here. Several disasters of the ecological, volcanic and asteroidal kind later (The last major asteroid impact was 60 million years ago.) A little shrew about smaller than those tiny field mice diversified and made lots and lots of different mammals big and small. A couple of million years ago, evolution or the Flying Spaghetti Monster made some standup comedians who found it funny to rub sticks together and bash things with rocks. Couple million years later, Homo Sapiens outcompetes the Neadanthals which is about 20,000 years ago. Ice age comes and goes, record of human civilization begins at approximately 10,000BC.

Please read and respout approiately. People will be impressed how spot on you get it...

*mutters 'fricking life was made 50,000 years ago' my arse*

The majority of matter in the universe is made up of Dark Matter, but we can not see it? If Dark Matter and Dark Energy does exist, why does it only exist out there somewhere else. We can see the effect on the universe, on other galaxies, but not here. We want to explain the shift in the expansion of the universe, based on some unseen force of nature. It is like the question of whether the world is flat or round. We want to see the universe as being the only one of its kind, but what if the universe is not alone? It is a known fact that there are large galaxies, small galaxies and dwarf rogue galaxies that cluster around larger galaxies. What would happen if universe act in the same manner, and we are a dwarf rogue universe? What would happen if the sum of universes is infinite, and time has no beginning and no end. Fourteen billions years would be a drop in the bucket. If we are a rogue dwarf galaxies being cannibalized by a larger universe, what would this look like to the observer in the galaxies being consumed? What does space look like at the edge of our universe? Maybe we would see what lies beyond our little island called Earth, and this is not all that there is and always will be.

Answer to the Q:
No, fictional entities by definition cannot play a role in reality.

Well, where to start?

Life only got started about 50,000 years ago? Humans have likely been around this long in even just our current form. Pre-sapiens humanoids have been around at least twice as long, probably much more!

Dark matter has repulsive gravity??! Erm...no it doesn't. There is no such thing as repulsive gravity (except for maybe dark energy but seeing as the world's greatest scientific minds don't even know this, I imagine you're confused.)

The earth is millions of years old?! Sounds a bit creationist to me! Any half decent geologist will tell you it's about 4.56 billion years old, only a little younger than the Sun. The Universe is about 13.7 billion years old.

Check facts before spouting!

I'm a little skeptical of this claim about DM annihilation powering life. Life doesn't need energy: it needs gradients of energy. Without that, the energy is just heat. The DM annihilation puts any nascent life in an isotropic bath of similar temperatures. The gradient from the interior of the planet to space will be relatively shallow, since a single planet can't clump DM *that* much.

On earth, life has never (to my knowledge) *directly* taken advantage of shallow thermal gradients to power life chemistry. Life has used black smokers, which are geological concentrations of thermal energy.

I'm a little skeptical because there's no such thing as dark matter or dark energy. If you look at the evidence for the non-constancy of the (so-called) gravitational constant, you will find that this makes a much better theory than the dark-matter, dark-energy everywhere (but not anywhere near us) theory.

Is dark matter just the gravitational waves of particles keeping everything in the galaxy held together. Kinda like how gravity is so weak here on earth. Well, same thing with gravity in a black hole. And the missing mass is the super-massive black holes in the center, and the medium black holes we can't see, but now are finding them. And the super-massive black holes were created from tons and tons of ,matter/anti-matter in the beginning of the formation of galaxies. So that you can't take all the matter in the galaxy, and throw it at the center and open up the black hole with enough energy to do anything personal. And the gravitational waves that pull the galaxies together and repulse them is dark energy. Spit-balling here, What else could dark matter be?

Maybe when a super-massive black hole sucks up energy from stars and stuff, it turns it into this really fine energy of particles, and the particles collect over time creating new matter, but since light is running from us, we can't see it happening. So the singularity really creates matter to the finest detail and over time, it accumulates into matter, but we don't see it because time for us is well, running away. Just thinking aloud.

Not quite sure how this article made the jump from weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPS) to antimatter. WIMPS simply fall into the category of normal particles. Since when they do encounter each other, let's say a WIMP and a subatomic particle, they don't interact with each other. But if an antimatter particle were to come across it's opposite particle, let's just say a subatomic particle, they both annihilate each other and release energy like that.

Antimatter is not the same thing as Dark Matter. Dark Matter is made of regular particles (just like all the more familiar matter around us), as opposed to antimatter which is made up of "opposite" particles.

Plus, it's been said a million times that there is WAAAAAAAAY more regular matter in the universe than antimatter. While studies show that Dark Matter is several times more abundant than Baryonic Matter (the more familiar stuff around us). This article is out of whack.


and on a side note: Narendra is a complete loon... 50,000 years since life began on Earth? Which ass did you pull that number out of? Your extravagent random number generator or your own?

What gets me is that there is an opposite to everything. I don't care, there just is. And this super-symmetry has to be right, it's just that something knows that if you can have everything cancel each other out and annihilate the universe with it, that doesn't sound plausible. Isn't there something in the universe only rotating in one direction? I forget what, but probably on the other side of the black hole, everything is spinning in the other direction, and they are wondering the same thing as us. But something won't let you destroy the universe with super-symmetry. I'm just guessing here again.


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