From “Under ‘Dark Halo’ Old Galaxies Have Many More Stars,” (ScienceDaily, May 1, 2012) , we learn,
Some of the oldest galaxies in the Universe have three times more stellar mass, and so many more stars, than all current models of galaxy evolution predict.
Barry? BARRY? Where is that guy who said, “ “It’s not so clear that there will be any more revolutions in physics”? Can we get him up here to have a look at this, or is he too busy uttering profundities to compliant, non- curious media?
The finding comes from the Atlas3D international team, led by an Oxford University scientist, who found a way to remove the ‘halo’ of dark matter that has clouded previous calculations.The team’s analysis means that all current models, which assumed for decades that the light we observe from a galaxy can be used to infer its stellar mass, will have to be revised.
It also suggests that researchers have a new riddle to ponder: exactly how galaxies forming so early in the life of the Universe got to be massive so fast.
A situation that fits no standard model does not always signal a revolution in science.* But it indicates that the potential for revolution is always there.
* See, for example, the lizard with a placenta. Strictly speaking, it’s compatible with common descent if we assume that the common ancestor of reptiles and mammals had the ability to form a placenta and perhaps regularly used that method of nourishing young. Then later, reptiles and mammals diverged in different directions. But the type of evolution this points to is more like ID theorist Mike Behe’s idea that the information already existed and was unpacked later as needed than like Darwin’s idea that it randomly evolved through natural selection. How likely is it that a lowly recent lizard randomly evolved a placenta with no pre-existing genetic information? So common descent survives, but its meaning changes.
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