In our vast Universe, there is an enormous amount of a unique type of matter that we can’t see directly, but we can say it’s there. That’s what science dubs at dark matter. Now, the astronomers identify where dark matter hides in the Universe and managed to come up with a 3D map.
Scientists can tell where the dark matter is present because it has a significant influence on stars and planets movements. Even the light gets tugs in the presence of dark matter which bends lightwaves paths in a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Dark matter is, therefore, a mysterious force in the Universe and astronomers have just shed more light on this topic.
After thoroughly studying the so-called gravitational lensing, the scientists came up with a detailed 3D map of the dark matter and the places where it hides in our vast Universe. And knowing where dark matter is present is very important for us as it is one of the main forces that contribute to the expansion of the Universe.
Scientists came up with the first detailed 3D map of where the dark matter hides in the Universe
“Our map gives us a better picture of how much dark energy there is and tells us a little more about its properties and how it’s making the expansion of the universe accelerate,” said Rachel Mandelbaum, an astronomer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and one of the authors of the new 3D map of dark matter.
To develop such a detailed map, the researchers examined the shapes of up to 10 million galaxies, including some that are located very far away from Earth, which formed billions of years ago. Then, they studied how those galaxies’ forms were distorted by the dark energy thanks to the gravitational lensing phenomenon.
On the other hand, the recent study is also revealing that there might be fewer dark matter in the Universe than previous research studies indicated.