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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories

Dragon
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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories Empty Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories

Post by Dragon Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:17 am

Astronomers have discovered that there may be a missing ingredient in our cosmic recipe of how dark matter behaves.

They have uncovered a discrepancy between the theoretical models of how dark matter should be distributed in galaxy clusters, and observations of dark matter's grip on clusters.

Dark matter does not emit, absorb, or reflect light. Its presence is only known through its gravitational pull on visible matter in space. Therefore, dark matter remains as elusive as Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat – where you only see its grin (in the form of gravity) but not the animal itself.

One way astronomers can detect dark matter is by measuring how its gravity distorts space, an effect called gravitational lensing.


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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories 334pu7m
Dragon
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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories Empty Re: Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories

Post by Dragon Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:19 am

Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories Stsci-h-p2029a-f-2082x1911
Credits: NASA, ESA, P. Natarajan (Yale University), G. Caminha (University of Groningen), M. Meneghetti (INAF-Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science of Bologna), the CLASH-VLT/Zooming teams; acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH team

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the massive galaxy cluster MACS J1206. Embedded within the cluster are the distorted images of distant background galaxies, seen as arcs and smeared features.

These distortions are caused by the amount of dark matter in the cluster, whose gravity bends and magnifies the light from faraway galaxies.

This effect, called gravitational lensing, allows astronomers to study remote galaxies that would otherwise be too faint to see.

Several of the cluster galaxies are sufficiently massive and dense to also distort and magnify faraway sources.

The galaxies in the three pullouts represent examples of such effects.

In the snapshots at upper right and bottom, two distant, blue galaxies are lensed by the foreground, redder cluster galaxies, forming rings and multiple images of the remote objects.

The red blobs around the galaxy at upper left denote emission from clouds of hydrogen in a single distant source.

The source, seen four times because of lensing, may be a faint galaxy.


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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories 334pu7m
Dragon
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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories Empty Re: Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories

Post by Dragon Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:20 am



Hubble Makes Unexpected Dark Matter Discovery

Astronomers seem to have revealed a puzzling detail in the way dark matter behaves.

They found small, dense concentrations of dark matter that bend and magnify light much more strongly than expected.


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Hubble Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Dark Matter Theories 334pu7m

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