Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, Dark Energy & Matter, Galaxies, General Astronomy > Cosmic Giants Shed New Light On Dark Matter

Cosmic Giants Shed New Light On Dark Matter

An international team of astronomers from Taiwan, England, and Japan has used the Subaru Telescope to measure the distribution of dark matter in fifty galaxy clusters and found that its density gradually decreases from the center of these cosmic giants to their diffuse outskirts. This new evidence about the mysterious dark matter that pervades our Universe conforms to the predictions of cold dark matter theory, known as “CDM”.

Few scientists seriously doubt the existence of dark matter, which researchers discovered almost eighty years ago. Nevertheless, astronomers cannot directly see dark matter in the night sky, and particle physicists have not yet identified a dark matter particle in their experiments. “What is dark matter?” is a big unanswered question facing astronomers and particle physicists, especially because invisible dark matter probably makes up 85% of the mass of the Universe.

“A galaxy cluster is like a huge city viewed from above during the night”, said Dr. Graham Smith (University of Birmingham, England). “Each bright city light is a galaxy, and the dark areas between the lights that appear to be empty during the night are actually full of dark matter. You can think of the dark matter in a galaxy cluster as being the infrastructure within which the galaxies live,” he explained. The team wanted to use a large sample of galaxy clusters to find out how the density of dark matter changes from the center of a typical galaxy cluster to its outskirts.

Full Story: http://www.naoj.org/Pressrelease/2013/06/12/index.html
Also: http://www.ipmu.jp/node/1633

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