Galaxies’ missing mass may hide in gas clouds

Huge amounts of cold matter surround star-containing regions, study finds

By Gabriel Popkin, 13:06 PM January 13, 2014

OXON HILL, Md. — Vast reservoirs of previously undetected gas account for much of galaxies’ mass, according to research presented January 7 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The finding could explain why earlier studies found far less mass in galaxies than cosmologists’ theories had predicted.

For more than a decade, astronomers have wondered about galaxies’ missing mass. Baryonic matter — the ordinary, visible stuff of the universe including the protons, neutrons and electron...

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