Friday, May 30, 2008

Cosmic Web

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

This illustration shows how the Hubble Space Telescope searches for missing ordinary matter, called baryons, by looking at the light from quasars several billion light-years away. Imprinted on that light are the spectral fingerprints of the missing ordinary matter that absorbs the light at specific frequencies (shown in the colourful spectra at right). The missing baryonic matter helps trace out the structure of intergalactic space, called the "cosmic web."

Credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Hallman (University of Colorado, Boulder)

This graphic represents a slice of the spider-web-like structure of the universe, called the "cosmic web." These great filaments are made largely of dark matter located in the space between galaxies. The Hubble Space Telescope probed the structure of intergalactic space to look for missing ordinary matter, called baryons, that is gravitationally attracted to the cosmic web.