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Johan Hidding / Flickr

We know how much total matter is in the universe, including "normal" matter (things like stars, planets, you, me) and more mysterious "dark" matter. However, only about 10% of the normal matter has been accounted for in surveys of galaxies. Astronomers have long suspected the missing matter sits in threads of gas between galaxies, but it's hard to detect because it's very tenuous.

What's new: Researchers now report spotting about 30% of the missing matter by looking for its shadow in the cosmic microwave background — the afterglow of the big bang itself. The background light filters through the gas and gets bumped up to higher energies through collisions with the hot particles, leading to a subtly higher observed temperature between galaxies.

Why it matters: While it doesn't completely solve the mystery of the missing matter, the research may help us paint a fuller family portrait of the universe. By understanding what it's made of, we can learn more about its past and future evolution.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ships search for green fuels to keep oceans blue

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The world's maritime industry — from ferries to freighters — is trying to navigate a once-in-a-century transition away from fossil fuels to new, cleaner means of propulsion.

Why it matters: International shipping is key to the world's economy, responsible for 90% of global trade. But the vessels burn about 4 million barrels of oil a day, accounting for almost 3 percent of the world's carbon emissions, and regulators are demanding they clean up their act.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Hours-long reading of 628-page COVID relief bill delays Senate debate

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) forced Senate clerks to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, which took nearly 11 hours and lasted until 2:04 a.m. on Friday. The Senate is set to return at 9 a.m. to debate the bill before considering amendments, which could drag into the weekend.

4 hours ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.