Lost and Found: Scientists Uncover Much of the Universe's Missing Hydrogen

May 4, 2000 8:50 a.m.

For the past decade astronomers have looked for vast quantities of hydrogen that was cooked up in the big bang but somehow managed to disappear into the empty blackness of space.

Now, a team of scientists led by researchers at Princeton has used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover this long-sought missing hydrogen. It accounts for nearly half of the "normal" matter in the universe; the rest is locked up in myriad galaxies.

The confirmation of this missing hydrogen will shed new light on the large-scale structure of the universe. The detection also confirms fundamental models of how much hydrogen was manufactured in the first few minutes of the universe's birth in the Big Bang.

Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601