This discovery made it possible in particular to detect part of the “missing matter” of the Universe, that which until then could not be observed.
The missing matter of the Universe, quésaco?
Our galaxy is made up of ordinary matter, called “baryonic”, made up of all the elements classified in the traditional periodic table. It is also made up of so-called dark matter, of still unknown composition. The problem is that about 80% of the baryons supposed to make up normal matter are actually missing, so impossible to observe.
Galactic winds, consecutive to the explosions of stars, are indeed able to push this matter far from its natural environment, towards a new galaxy. We therefore speak of missing material when it cannot be located.
An international research team, led on the French side by the CNRS and the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, has mapped for the first time one of these famous galactic winds and, with it, the formation of a nebula located simultaneously in emission and absorption of magnesium, part of the baryons missing from the Universe.
This technological feat was made possible thanks to the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument, a large-field 3D spectrograph in operation on the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) installed in northern Chile ( photo).
This unique observation makes it possible to understand where a missing part of the matter of the Universe is located, hoping to be able to quickly observe other forms.