- Astronomers have created the most comprehensive map of dark matter in the universe.
- Scientists can measure the gravity of dark matter even when it is invisible. because it pulls galaxies into clusters
- A new map indicates that dark matter gravity may behave differently than Einstein’s theory of relativity.
- See more stories on the Business Insider page.
Astronomers have created the most comprehensive map of dark matter in the universe.
It’s not easy because dark matter is invisible. Scientists know that this normal matter shadow cousin actually exists. Because of its strong gravity it can pull all galaxies together. from observing its influence Astronomers estimate that dark matter comprises a quarter of the universe.
The new map is the result of years of work by a group of 400 scientists from seven countries, known as the Dark Energy Survey (DES). They pointed the Victor M. Blanco telescope in Chile into the sky to look at the galaxy. millions bound together by dark matter the distribution of those galaxies and how the light from them came to earth It can tell astronomers how much dark matter lies between those galaxies and our planet.
In a series of studies published this week, The team showed that the universe is full of giant galaxy clusters that also congregate into dense regions of dark matter. But the map, which covers about one-eighth of the sky as viewed from Earth. also documented the fissures of a universe almost free of dark matter and galaxies. These cluttered and empty spaces appear to be interconnected by interstellar gas in the cosmic web.
“It shows us a new part. of the universe we̵7;ve never seen before We can see the web structure of this universe. including these gigantic structures known as cosmic voids. This is an extremely low-density region of the universe with very few galaxies. and less important,” said Niall Jeffrey, a cosmologist at University College London. told the Guardian
The image below shows a portion of the new map. The gaps are black while galaxy clusters are bright orange.
According to Jeffrey The new findings suggest that gravity might not work in these spaces the same way it does on Earth. This means that the standard laws of physics do not apply.
Light from 226 million galaxies
Although dark matter is invisible The force it exerts on the rest of the universe has helped scientists detect dark matter.
Dark matter refracts light entering Earth from other galaxies. similar to a kaleidoscope, so by measuring the intensity of the distortion Astronomers can calculate how much dark matter lies between us and other galaxies. And how does that dark matter come together? If the light of a galaxy is very distorted It indicates that the invisible dark matter that obscures it from vision is concentrated.
So Jeffrey and his team looked at the light from more than 226 million galaxies. both nearby and billions of miles away How are they distorted?
They used telescopes to capture images of those galaxies for 345 nights between 2013 and 2016, and then relied on artificial intelligence programs to translate those observations into detailed maps of dark matter.
The team gathered data 413 nights before the survey ends in 2019, so DES scientists plan to create a larger and more detailed map of dark matter using the rest of their observations.
The map shows that Einstein may have been wrong.
According to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, gravity likely caused the fragments of matter in the universe to coalesce in a predictable manner about 13 billion years after the Big Bang. before
But according to Geoffrey, the DES map shows that Einstein’s theory may have missed some point.
“If you look out into the universe The matter didn’t look as lumpy as I thought — implying it would be smoother,” Jeffrey told The Guardian.
“It may seem trivial,” he added. “But if these hints are true It might mean that something is wrong with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. which is one of the great pillars of physics.”