Home / Science / New map shows how dark matter “bridges” galaxies

New map shows how dark matter “bridges” galaxies



Dark matter is one of the universe’s most enduring mysteries. Its existence can be understood how it affects gravity. But no one knows for sure what it is. Although it accounts for 27 percent of the total mass and energy of the universe. Which is more than 5 percent of the “normal” universe is very important. such as planets and stars consisting of

Even though it is unknown what type of particle is dark matter. But astronomers can use telescopes to determine the location of dark matter in the universe. Mostly because of its name. Dark matter is difficult to observe directly. but has a huge gravitational effect and has a lot of mass no matter where it appears as a group

Now, astronomers are using this information to create detailed maps of the dark matter in the universe.

First, astronomers from the University of Waterloo published a study four years ago in the Royal Astronomical Society̵

7;s monthly bulletin that maps filaments of dark matter spanning between galaxies. A long time ago, an international team of researchers published a new map published in the journal Astrophysical Journal

In general, dark matter maps consist of galaxies that are very distant from galaxy clusters in our area. This is the region near gravitational galaxies and includes the Milky Way.

Donghui Jeong, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, said: “Strangely, it is much easier to study the distribution of dark matter. because it reflects the distant past which is much less complicated.”

Jung is referring to the fact that observing a distant galaxy means observing something that happened a long time ago because of the slow speed of light. “Over time As the large structure of the universe grows The complexity of the universe increases. Therefore, it is difficult to measure the amount of dark matter in space.”

Previous attempts at mapping dark matter were exhausting. The researchers, in their latest effort, relied on simulations of a large collection of galaxies called Illustris-TNG This includes galaxies, gas, and other visible matter. besides dark matter The Milky Way-like galaxies were specifically selected in the simulations. Specifically, information about 17,000 galaxies within 650 million light years of the Milky Way. Researchers rely on machine learning to bring them together and produce lofty results.


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“When receiving some information This model was able to fill in the gaps based on what was previously viewed,” Jeong said. “The maps from our model did not fit the simulation data perfectly. But we can still create very detailed structures. We found that combining galaxies with strange radial velocities. In addition to their distribution, it greatly improves the quality of the map. and allows us to see these details.”

In fact, the quality of the maps is far superior to those created in the past. As the booking said New simulation improves smaller details Especially The map highlights the structures in the outer galaxy known as “Local sheet” and “Local group”, both of which include parts of our own Milky Way. It also identifies new structures that astronomers will investigate further. Remarkably, the map also details the directional dark matter “flow”, as shown by arrows.

“Having a local map of the cosmic web opens a new chapter in the study of cosmology,” Jeong said. “We can study how the distribution of dark matter relates to other radiation data, which will help us understand the nature of dark matter. And we can study the structure of these fibers directly. The hidden bridge between the galaxies.”

Jung stressed that better understanding the role of dark matter in our universe is essential to our present and future existence.

“Because dark matter dominates the dynamics of the universe. It basically determines our fate,” Jeong said, “so we can ask computers to develop maps over billions of years to see what will happen in the local universe. And we can develop a model going back in time to understand the history of our cosmic neighborhood.”

You can see a sample map here.


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