WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The dark matter that makes up the vast majority of galaxies, including our own galaxy, is once again baffling scientists with new observations of distant galaxies that contradict current understanding of its nature.
Research released this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between theoretical computer simulations of observing the concentrations of dark matter in three massive clusters of galaxies containing trillions of stars and how dark matter should be distributed.
“We have made a fundamental misconception about the nature of a substance or a dark matter in simulations,” Priyamwada Natarajan, an astronomer at Yale University, said Friday, co-author of the study published in the journal Science.
The dark matter is the invisible glue that holds the stars together within a galaxy. It also creates an invisible scaffold, which helps to form clusters of galaxies. But it has very strange properties. It does not emit, absorb or reflect light and does not interact with any known particles.
The vast majority of matter in the universe, about 96%, with ordinary matter – is considered to be the dark matter – the visible things that make up stars, planets and people – just 4%.
The existence of a dark object is known only by its gravitational pull in matter visible in space. It differs from the similarly intriguing and unseen dark energy, which is considered the property of space and drives the rapid expansion of the universe. Dark energy is repellent. The dark matter attracts by gravity.
The new study included observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Laboratory’s largest telescope in Chile.
When light from distant sources, such as distant galaxies, travels through another galaxy or a cluster of them, the light is deflected and bent – this is called “gravitational lensing”, by astronomer and leading author of the study Astronomer Massimo Menekaville and spacecraft. National Institute of Astrophysics.
New observations have shown that the gravitational lensing effects created by galaxies inhabiting large galaxies are much stronger than the current theory of dark objects, indicating the unexpected concentration of dark matter in these galaxies.
“It’s so amazing,” Menaketti said.
Will Dunham Report; Editing by Sandra Malor