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Author Topic: New view: Dust blocks brightness of universe  (Read 1786 times)
Phoenix
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« Topic Start: May 18, 2008, 01:56:35 pm »

The universe is twice as bright as it appears, astronomers now suggest.
The light bulb went on when they calculated that dust blocks about the half the light emitted from stars and galaxies.

Astronomers have known about interstellar dust for a while, but they haven't been able to quantify just how much light it blocks. Now a team of researchers has studied a catalogue of galaxies and found that dust shields roughly 50% of their light.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2008-05-16-brighter-universe_N.htm
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Phoenix
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« Reply #1: May 18, 2008, 01:59:30 pm »

The universe is twice as bright as it appears, astronomers now suggest.

With so many of our measurements in the universe based of the brightness of a distant Type 1a supernova, this could re-write a lot of textbooks
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RandallS
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« Reply #2: May 18, 2008, 02:22:02 pm »

With so many of our measurements in the universe based of the brightness of a distant Type 1a supernova, this could re-write a lot of textbooks

I think this will depend on how general the effect is.  If everything is twice as bright as we thought, it might not make much difference to determining distance.  I'm not sure.
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« Reply #3: May 18, 2008, 02:43:08 pm »

I think this will depend on how general the effect is. 

Dust distribution is probably not going to be uniform, but it seems a reasonable general rule that there will be more interceding dust as we look further out
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« Reply #4: May 18, 2008, 06:28:49 pm »

....but it seems a reasonable general rule that there will be more interceding dust as we look further out

That's what I would thing, but as usual the news reports aren't all that clear on the details.
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