Katie Mack @AstroKatie (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist/cosmologist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes Aug. 07, 2019 1 min read

“Dark matter” is kind of a misnomer because it suggests something that is black (i.e., absorbing all colors of light). But as far as we can tell light just passes right through it. It’s invisible, not dark.

The REALLY COOL thing about that is that if #DarkMatter really is invisible it’s also untouchable. Invisible means “doesn’t interact with electromagnetism” & when you touch something, it’s electromagnetic repulsion between you & it that makes it feel solid  https://slate.com/technology/2014/02/what-is-dark-matter-searching-with-gravity-lensing-wimps-and-antiparticles.html 

Also important to keep in mind in any discussion of #DarkMatter:  https://www.xkcd.com/1758/ 

“What if #DarkMatter is not real but gravity just works differently?” People have been trying to make this work for decades. It doesn’t. Dark matter fits the data; models without it don’t.

I mean, feel free to keep trying to come up with new models! But maybe don’t put out a press release every time you fit a galaxy rotation curve, while ignoring the fact that your model fails when confronted with absolutely every observation done on cosmological scales.

You can follow @AstroKatie.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.