Primordial Gas: Fog Not Clouds

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Science  09 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5314, pp. 899
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5314.899

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Astrophysicists appear to have cleared up the puzzling distribution of tenuous gas in the distant universe, which produces a "forest" of dark lines in the spectra of the bright, remote objects called quasars. By assuming that there is a ubiquitous, undulating fog of hydrogen and helium in the space between galaxies, the researchers not only provide a new explanation for these lines, they also account for a key part of the universe's "missing matter."