April 14, 2017
The first image of a dark matter “bridge”, believed to form the links between galaxies, has been captured by astrophysicists in Canada.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo used a technique known as weak gravitational lensing to create a composite image of the bridge. Gravitational lensing is an effect that causes the images of distant galaxies to warp slightly under the influence of an unseen mass, such as a planet, a black hole, or in this case, dark matter.
Their composite image was made up of a combination of combined lensing images taken of more than 23,000 galaxy pairs, spotted 4.5 billion light-years away. This effect was measured from a multi-year sky survey at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.
These results show that the dark matterfilament bridge is strongest between systems less than 40 million light years apart, and confirms predictions that galaxies across the Universe are tied together through a cosmic web of the elusive substance.
This article was posted: Friday, April 14, 2017 at 8:13 am