For decades, astrophysicists have failed to locate the universe's "missing mass," a unique matter that scientists believe was present during the universe's beginning stages. While some of the world's scientific greats haven't been able to solve the puzzle, a 22-year-old Australian university student has done just that.
The young girl is an amateur who made the discovery during a summer internship program. According to Yahoo! News:
Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the breakthrough...locating the mystery material within vast structures called "filaments of galaxies".
Monash astrophysicist Dr Kevin Pimbblet explained that scientists had previously detected matter that was present in the early history of the universe but that could not now be located.
"There is missing mass, ordinary mass not dark mass ... It's missing to the present day," Pimbblet told AFP.
"We don't know where it went. Now we do know where it went because that's what Amelia found."
Fraser-McKelvie, an aerospace engineering and science student, was able to confirm after a targeted X-ray search for the mystery mass that it had moved to the "filaments of galaxies", which stretch across enormous expanses of space.
To be fair to the expert scientists, until recently, the technologies needed to properly locate the matter hadn't yet been created. Still, it's profoundly exciting that such a young scientist-in-training was able to stake claim to the find. Discoveries like these have the potential to lead to all sorts of interesting technologies (in fact, this find may lead to the creation of a telescope that will better assist experts in examining the matter).
In the end, perhaps we can then better understand our universe's complicated and mesmerizing history.