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Uncovering a Cosmic Matter Reservoir

3 Feb 2020, 13:00 UTC
Uncovering a Cosmic Matter Reservoir
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Paper Title: Observations of the Missing Baryons in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic MediumAuthors: F. Nicastro, J. Kaastra, Y. Krongold, S. Borgani, E. Branchini, R. Cen, M. Dadina, C.W. Danforth, M. Elvis, F. Fiore, A. Gupta, S. Mathur, D. Mayya, F. Paerels, L. Piro, D. Rosa-Gonzalez, J. Schaye, J.M. Shull, J. Torres-Zafra, N. Wijers, L. ZappacostaFirst Author’s Institution: Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome, Italy & Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA.Status: Published in Nature (2018). Closed access on arXiv.When you gaze up at the night sky on a clear evening, all of the matter you observe is “baryonic”. This class of matter is primarily composed of neutrons and protons, the fundamental building blocks of atoms. In fact, all of the visible matter in the universe, including the matter the makes up you and I, is classified as baryonic matter. Surprisingly, though, this type of “normal” matter only accounts for 5% of the mass-energy in the universe; the remaining exists in the form of dark matter (25%) and dark energy (70%), which are not visible in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Figure 1: The cosmic web that intertwines galaxies, as shown through dark matter density field N-body simulations. ...

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