The Cosmic Web of Baryons

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Science  04 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5591, pp. 72-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077124

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About 20% of the matter in the universe is present as "baryons," which form the stars and galaxies in the local universe. But the visible baryonic matter only adds up to about one-tenth of the baryonic matter that existed when the world was young. In his Perspective, Bregman reviews recent studies aimed at tracking down this missing matter. The evidence now points to a cosmic "web" of baryons in intergalactic space, but quantitative data on the amount of matter in the web remain elusive.