Enlarge / The large galaxy cluster MACSJ 1206. Embedded throughout the cluster are the distorted photographs of distant background galaxies, seen as arcs and smeared options. (credit score: NASA, ESA, G. Caminha, M. Meneghetti, P. Natarajan, and the CLASH workforce.)
Whereas the concept of darkish matter was initially proposed to clarify the construction of galaxies, certainly one of its nice successes was explaining the character of the Universe itself. Options of the Cosmic Microwave Background may be defined by the presence of darkish matter. And fashions of the early Universe produce galaxies and galaxy clusters by constructing on buildings fashioned by darkish matter. The truth that these fashions get the massive image so proper has been a powerful argument of their favor.
However a brand new examine means that the identical fashions get the small print fallacious—by a complete order of magnitude. The individuals behind the examine counsel that both there’s one thing fallacious with the fashions, or our understanding of darkish matter might have an adjustment.
Beneath a lens
The brand new examine, carried out by a world workforce of researchers, took benefit of a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Gravity warps area itself, and it may possibly accomplish that in a method that bends mild, analogous to a lens. If a large object—say, a galaxy—sits between us and a distant object, it may possibly create a gravitational lens that magnifies or distorts the distant object. Relying on the exact particulars of how the objects are organized, the outcomes may be something from a easy magnification to round rings or having the article seem a number of instances.Learn 12 remaining paragraphs | Feedback
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