Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 5, 2022

Mystery of the Missing Mass

(5 Minute Read. 5Oct2022)

Whirlpool Galaxy
First spiral galaxy discovered (1773).
31 million light-years away.
76,000 light-years across.
Over 100 billion stars.
43% the size of the Milky Way.
Estimated mass = 10% Milky Way mass
Companion galaxy NGC 5195 at top.

The vastness of the starry expanse in the heavens has mesmerized men for thousands of years.

The Lord God even used the uncountable starry host to make a promise to Abraham about his descendants some 4,000 years ago. Abraham’s belief in this specific promise by God was what God counted as righteousness for Abraham. (Genesis 15:1-6)

Stars always appear grouped and organized together into galaxies. A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars orbiting a central point. Galaxies typically contain at least 100 billion stars. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars.

Based on observations with the Hubble space telescope from 2016, NASA astronomers say that there are at least two trillion (2,000,000,000,000) galaxies within the observable universe. The Great Creator alone knows how many galaxies are in the unobservable universe.

The Milky Way is an average-sized spiral-arm galaxy with a thickness of more than 20,000 light-years (ly), and a diameter of about 125,000 ly (>600,000 trillion miles). A light-year is the distance light travels in a year. Since light travels at 186,000 miles/sec, a light-year is almost 6 trillion miles. “Nearby” galaxies include the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (170,000 ly away) which orbit the Milky Way, Andromeda (2.2 million ly away), and Whirlpool (31 million ly away).

The largest known galaxy in the universe is the yellow-red elliptical galaxy IC 1101 at the center of the Abell 2029 Cluster. It lies one billion light-years away and is six million light-years across. It contains 100 trillion stars. Comparing IC 1101 with the Milky Way, IC 1101 is 60 times as large with 1,000 times as many stars.

Galaxies appear together in groups called clusters. Galaxy clusters contain from just a few galaxies to tens of thousands of galaxies with some galaxies orbiting other galaxies.

The Milky Way candy bar created in 1923
was named after a popular milkshake
which was itself named after the
Milky Way galaxy.

The cluster to which the Milky Way belongs is called the Local Group. Nearby clusters are the Virgo Cluster (8 million ly away) and the Coma Cluster. Thousands of galaxy clusters have been studied by astronomers over the years. The Local Group contains at least 80 galaxies. The exact number is unknown because the Milky Way blocks the view.

The structure of the Local Group looks like a dumbbell. The Milky Way and its at least 15 satellite galaxies form one lobe, and the Andromeda Galaxy and its at least 20 satellite galaxies comprise the other lobe. The two lobes are separated by about 3 million light-years and are speeding toward each other.

The Local Group itself is a part of the larger Virgo Supercluster. This supercluster contains the Virgo Cluster and the Local Group along with at least 100 other galaxy clusters. The Virgo Supercluster is one of about 10 million galaxy superclusters in the observable universe.

The Virgo Supercluster is a lobe of an assembly of galaxy superclusters named Laniakea, which is Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.” The Laniakea Supercluster comprises over 100,000 galaxies and may include many more in the region obscured by the Milky Way.

Galaxy clusters are organized into sheets or walls in space with tremendous voids separating the sheets. Astronomers have nicknamed the sheet in which we live “The Great Wall.”

The discovery of these sheets of galaxy clusters has cast doubt on the Big Bang theory which predicts uniform scattering of stars through space. Evolutionary astronomers recognize this large-scale organization of stars into galaxies, clusters, and sheets, but they cannot reconcile it with the Big Bang theory.

Just as astronomers cannot account for the origin of the organization of stars with an evolutionary theory, so they also cannot account for the continued ordering of stars in galaxies, clusters, and sheets for 15 billion years, the evolutionists’ assumed age of the universe. Galaxy clusters should have broken up long ago if they have been in existence for 15 billion years.

Based on calculations of the mass and speed of individual galaxies, clusters would break up into individual galaxies within 2 or 3 million years. In twin galaxy clusters, the speeds of the individual galaxies are so high that the two galaxies would break apart in tens of thousands of years. But this has not happened. There is not a single known example of an isolated galaxy anywhere in the universe! All galaxies occur in clusters.

Similarly the velocities of individual stars orbiting within a galaxy greatly exceed the escape velocity required for a star to escape the gravitational attraction of the galaxy. If galaxies are billions of years old as evolutionary astronomers believe, then there should be no galaxies in existence today; they should have disintegrated into individual stars eons ago.

Astronomers also say that a spiral arm galaxy will completely lose its spiral arm structure within 1 or at most 2 rotations. (The rotation period of the Milky Way is 225 million years.) But spiral arm galaxies are abundant in the universe. Half of all known galaxies are spiral! How could the universe be 15 billion years old and still contain all these spiral arm galaxies and galaxy clusters?

Mystery of the Missing Mass

In an attempt to resolve this problem of galaxies and clusters flying apart and at the same time to hang on to a great age for the universe, astronomers have concocted another theory, which I refer to as the “Mystery of the Missing Mass.” They imagine that there is “invisible” mass within a galaxy and a cluster, which is so far undetected, and which is sufficient to gravitationally hold the galaxy and the cluster of galaxies together. This is commonly known as the Cold Dark Matter (CDM) theory.

What is rarely revealed about the CDM theory is that the amount of mass needed to hold a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies together for billions of years is enormous compared to the size of the galaxy or cluster. In the Local Group, 86% of the mass is supposedly missing. In the Virgo Cluster, 90% of the mass is “missing.” In the Coma Cluster, 98% of the mass is “missing.” According to the CDM theory, almost all of the mass of the universe is “MISSING” (in the sense of being undetected)! UC Berkeley astronomer Bruce Margon recognized the extreme improbability of the Missing Mass theory and said that scientists will have to “invent some forces never even dreamed of” to hold the galaxies together.

Solution to the Mystery of the Missing Mass

If, however, one abandons the belief that the universe is 15 billion years old, and instead accepts a Biblical value of about 6,000 years, then this problem of the organization of stars into galaxies, clusters, and sheets totally disappears. God originally created and placed the stars in these arrangements in the heavens on Creation Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19). Insufficient time has elapsed since creation for this order to degenerate.

In summary, one needs to change perspective from an evolutionary perspective to a Biblical perspective and realize that no mass is missing. Hence there is no mystery to solve.

Next time you eat a Milky Way candy bar, remember for what it was named, and plan soon to marvel at it on some dark night. As you do, praise the One who made it.

Questions to Ponder

1. Does your child’s school textbook teach Cold Dark Matter (CDM) without admitting that it is a theory invented to cover deficiencies in the Big Bang theory?
2. What can account for the organization of stars into galaxies, galaxies into galaxy clusters, galaxy clusters into galaxy superclusters, and galaxy superclusters into galaxy walls?
3. Would it surprise you if on some future day astronomers announce that galaxy walls are simply filaments of a much larger cosmic structure?

Share your thoughts on this question in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom.
Alere Flammam Veritatis.
Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 5, 2022 A.D.

Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
(Psalm 145:3-5)

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  1. Thank you for these explanations.
    Repeatedly I hear Cold Dark Matter discussed as a proven solid fact, without saying anything about it being a theory of catch-up to make the Big Bang theory fit. Evolutionists are deceptive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Serena. You are so right!


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