ESA’s orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has been used by a team of international astronomers to uncover part of the missing matter in the universe.
The low density of the gas hampered many attempts to detect it in the past. With XMM-Newton’s high sensitivity, astronomers have discovered its hottest parts. The discovery will help them understand the evolution of the cosmic web.
Only about 5% of our universe is made of normal matter as we know it, consisting of protons and neutrons, or baryons, which along with electrons, form the building blocks of ordinary matter. The rest of our universe is composed of elusive dark matter (23%) and dark energy (72%).
half of the ordinary baryonic matter is unaccounted for. All the stars, galaxies and gas observable in the universe account for less than a half of all the baryons that should be around.
From Physorg News.