Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cold and dark

Space is like that. Even in space, though, this is exceptional. See "Pac-Man GHOST nebula is literally the coolest thing in the universe – boffins: Warming up in the Big Bang's background radiation."

Should be called the Clyde Nebula
 And if you're wondering about that extreme cold, here's the explanation:

The rapid expansion ... is of gas from the dying star at the core of the nebula, and is the explanation for the Boomerang's frigidity. As the gas expands, it cools in a manner "similar in principle to the way refrigerators use expanding gas to produce cold temperatures," explains the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Moving from cold to dark: The leading (and wholly speculative) explanation for dark matter is WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). Like neutrinos are known to behave, WIMPs are supposed to be all around, zipping through us, unnoticed.

Dark matter at work

The largest, most sensitive experiment yet to hunt for WIMPs has just reported in. The upshot: "Huge Dark Matter Experiment Finds Nothing but More Mysteries." 

And that's it for today. I'm a scant few chapters from finishing the first draft of my latest interstellar epic; I'm off to explore the cold and dark spaces in my head ;-)

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