Research NewsCosmology

Cosmic Web Captures Lost Matter

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Science  26 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5372, pp. 2049-2050
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2049

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SAN DIEGO-- Vast hydrogen clouds filled the early universe but have since vanished, leaving the matter they contained unaccounted for. But in a talk at an American Astronomical Society meeting here earlier this month, a cosmologist predicted that observers will soon find most of the ordinary matter in the universe right under their noses. Computer simulations show that the primordial clouds condensed over time into a vast, filamentary network of ionized gas--a cosmic cobweb that now links galaxies and galaxy clusters.