back to article Universe has more hydrogen than we thought

A re-analysis of radio telescope observations from three countries has yielded a surprising result: nearby galaxies harbour one-third more hydrogen than had previously been estimated. While nothing like enough matter to solve physics’ “dark matter” problem, the work by CSIRO astronomer Dr Robert Braun (chief scientist at the …

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Happy

New weight unit!

the echidna

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Re: New weight unit!

Hmm, I wonder what the echidna to large kangaroo conversion factor is?

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Boffin

Re: New weight unit!

From a quick scan of t'internet, an average short-beaked echidna can be about 3kg, whereas an adult male red kangaroo can have a mass up to around 90kg (although i thought this would be higher), so I'd say the echidna to kangaroo conversion factor is around the 1:30 mark.

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@new weight unit

I'm all for bizarre units, and this one is even better than most in being "small, but massive"(*) all at the same time.

I for one welcome our small and very far away overlords, etc.

(*) refer to article, obv.

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Re: @new weight unit

I think we need some new icons here - a brown pint for when a comment really deserves a beer to complement the yellow largery (fosters?) one when a comment is good enough for you to get one for yourself.

Or we could ask all foreign articles like this to be passed through Google Unit Converter before printing. Though a lot of countries don’t have real words for real pints poor sods.

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Pint

Re: @new weight unit

Much as I love brown session ale (it's my favourite kind) I'd always assumed it was a nice light ale like Enville or HPA.

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Coat

We just have to know now

What is the speed of a kangaroo in vacuum?

Mine is the one with the roo-leather Barmah hat

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Trollface

Re: We just have to know now

Well, is it an African or European swallow, err kangaroo.

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So he could've compared a horse to a dog or cat or something, but no, he has to pick an animal 95% of the population haven't heard of - hence even El Reg feeling the need for a link. That's a really helpful analogy.

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Happy

If his audience where he made the quoted comparison was mostly Australian...

...we understood him perfectly well.

The rest of the world is too insignificant to cater to anyway.

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Linux

@sarev

If you're unfamiliar with echidnas, just think of it as the same as 1.25 bilbies.

Hope that makes it clearer.

Penguin, 'cos everyone knows what they're like.

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Re: @sarev

"Penguin, 'cos everyone knows what they're like."

Not as tasty as ducks?

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Re: @sarev

"Penguin, 'cos everyone knows what they're like."

Not as tasty as ducks?

Depends how you cook 'em.

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Re: @sarev

"Depends how you cook 'em."

Peking Penguin? Hmmmmm, I'd try it... Penguin a la orange doesn't sound so tasty though.

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Re: @sarev

or if you can get the damned wrappers off

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Devil

Re: @sarev

Penguin, 'cos everyone knows what they're like.

There called Tim-Tams (Well they where '99-'00) ar*e end of the world. Nice when used as a straw with a nice cuppa.

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Re: @sarev

or how about Bombay Penguin, I know, they haven't found a Penguin fish to curry, yet.

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Re: @sarev

@El Zorro

or if you can get the damned wrappers off

That's why polar bears can't eat penguins.

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"an animal 95% of the population haven't heard of"

Some of us played Sonic the Hedgehog.

Okay, so Knuckles is a bit cartoony, but then Sonic does look like a spiky Felix The Cat.

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Mushroom

Ozzie units...

See, the author was using Aussie Units of Measure, because the article really speaks to the fantastic science that is being done here in Australia (I'm writing this from Melbourne today). Now, IF the US was doing really cool things, then the units would be either robins to deer, or bibles to obese children. You know, things that are common in that country. However, as the majority of the US seems bent on thinking that the world is only 600,000 years old, and that evolution didn't really occur, and that you didn't _need_ a Superconducting Supercollider, and that most public schools should have their budgets slashed for teaching science (expensive subject compared to Home Economics or Gang Looting)...well then, I guess we should get used to more stories with weird, non-American units of comparison. Up next, El Reg will use the silkworm to panda ratio when they discuss just how badly China is out-researching the US...

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What about the gaps between galaxies?

If we also take into account self-absorption for the stuff in the gaps between galaxies, how much previously-unaccounted for matter will that reveal? Enough for a diprotodon?

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Re: What about the gaps between galaxies?

Maybe a wallaby

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Re: What about the gaps between galaxies?

And what about relative absorption of other, heavier free elements? While there are less of them around, they're heavier. Again, it may not solve the dark matter problem in the calcualtions, but it could provide another echidna or three'2 worth of those 30 echidnas in the Large Kangaroo-sized hole in the equations.

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Echidnas?

Makes a damn site more sense than "football pitches". At least there's only one kind of echidna, as against how many hundred brands of football.

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Re: Echidnas?

Oh I dunno, doesn't it depend on how well fed the echidna is?

Great piece of work I thought, well done them!

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Re: Echidnas?

Not according to the reg wiki link - there is more than one type.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Echidnas?

It'll be the SI echidna.

The one that's kept in a special protective atmosphere at a fixed temperature at an underground location.

Probably in Paris.

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Boffin

Re: Echidnas?

But what is the mass of a football pitch, in Kangaroos?

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Happy

Re: Echidnas?

European or African football pitch?

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Angel

Re: Echidnas?

Laden or un-Laden?

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Linux

Q: what's the difference between yoghurt and Australia

A: culture

An old one but it wears it well.

(an Auk, for variety. Unladen)

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WTF

Dr Braun notes that “Although there’s more atomic hydrogen than we thought, it’s not big enough to solve the Dark Matter problem. If what we are missing had the weight of a large kangaroo, what we have found would have the weight of a small echidna.”

/Sign this is getting older than "I for one welcome or weigth of kangaroo overlords"

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Joke

It's confirmed by the money as well - !!

The kangaroo appears on our $1 bit. A medium sized, gold coloured coin.

The echidna appears on our 5c bit. Which is a very small silver coloured coin.

So it must be true!!

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Re: It's confirmed by the money as well - !!

I can understand the reasoning behind this idea, but what do you do if a coin of value greater than $1 is needed. Do you have one and do you have a native animal to match it?

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Joke

Re: It's confirmed by the money as well - !!

Easy, just put 2 kangas on the $2, 5 of them on the $5...

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Re: It's confirmed by the money as well - !!

$10 - put the kangaroo in a ute.

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What's fascinating about this

Is that the way it reduces the dark matter problem. Ok it only reduces it by 2-5% (or whatever the kangaroo/echidna mass ratio is) but is shows that there are still opportunities for visible matter explanations instead of dark matter - that are within an order of magnitude of the dark matter estimate itself.

Put it another way 19 more echidna sized breakthroughs and the need for dark matter goes away.

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Megaphone

Re: What's fascinating about this

(and the need for dark matter goes away.)

About bloody time too, the sooner we get rid of this magical dark matter, that can't be detected what soever, the better.

Except to balance our accepted theory of the universe, nothing else in astronomy or sub atomic theory, supports it's existence. Either the missing mass is out there in good old fashioned mass somewhere, or our theory of the universe is wrong!

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Re: What's fascinating about this

Yep, every time I hear "dark matter" or "dark energy", I'm thinking "phlogiston" and "epicycles".

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Re: What's fascinating about this

much what I was thinking...a third more atomic hydrogen than previously thought? That's a hell of a margin of error then in the original estimates. Dark matter, schmark matter.

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Re: What's fascinating about this

"nothing else in astronomy or sub atomic theory, supports it's existence."

No: Nothing in theory. Only our actual empirical evidence and observations.

Of course we could happily pretend to ignore visible evidence just to have a nice tidy theory as you suggest...

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Trollface

Re: What's fascinating about this

Dont forget empirical evidence also supported "bad humours" supporting the spread of disease. ie Bad Smell = cause not symptom of illness. Until the microscope was invented it was a perfectly good theory that matched established facts.

Im sure Dark Matter and Dark energy were only created as terms because some stuffy old physicists voted down "Stuff", "Magic" and the "Reversible Sedgewick particle"

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Re: What's fascinating about this

I love it when half-informed amateurs wave their magical internet schlongs about and dismiss problems that have been troubling professionals for decades.

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Re: What's fascinating about this

There was empirical evidence for phlogiston too. There was also empirical evidence for another planet existing inside the orbit of Mercury to cause its orbit to behave non-Newtonianly. The former was explained by better experiments and a better understanding of the reaction of elements; the latter was explained by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

So the step from "we have observed this happening" to "some strange stuff must exist which has these properties" is bogus. Dark matter (and its even less explained counterpart, dark energy) may exist, but equally the fact that observations don't match theory may just need a different theory.

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Re: What's fascinating about this

Phlogiston? I always preferred aether as an analogy for dark matter.

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Re: What's fascinating about this

So the step from "we have observed this happening" to "some strange stuff must exist which has these properties" is bogus.

Fortunately, no scientist has ever made this step so you can stop worrying about it.

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Re: What's fascinating about this

I think Finagle's constant...

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FinaglesVariableConstant

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's fascinating about this

Maybe. The solar neutrino problem did work itself out in the end, although the fix didn't require any marsupials, penguins, sheep, football pitches or Bulgarian airbags.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's fascinating about this

"Fortunately, no scientist has ever made this step so you can stop worrying about it."

Sadly though, many make this step, then pretend to be scientists!

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