Scientists get confused by new findings on the mysterious dark matter of the universe


By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dark matter, the mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including our own Milky Way, is confusing scientists again, with new understanding of distant galaxies struggling with current understanding of its nature With comments.

Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between the observation of dark matter concentrations in trillions of stars and three large clusters of theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed.

Yale University astronomer Priyamvada Natarajan co-authored the study, published in Science on Friday, with either a missing component in the simulation or we made a fundamental misconception about the nature of dark matter.

Dark matter is the invisible glue that holds the stars together inside a galaxy. It also forms an invisible scaffold that enables galaxies to form flakes. But it has very strange properties. It does not emit, absorb or reflect light and does not interact with any known particles.

About 96% of the universe is considered a large part of this substance, dark matter, with ordinary matter – visible material that makes up stars, planets, and people – just 4%.

The presence of Dark Matter is known only through its gravitational pull on the visible matter in space. It is distinguished from similar esoteric and unseen dark energy, which is considered to be the property of space and driving the accelerated expansion of the universe. Dark energy is repulsive. Dark matter attracts through gravity.

The new study included observations from the Hubble Space Telescope in Chile and the much larger telescope of the European Southern Observatory.

When light from distant sources such as distant galaxies passes through another galaxy or a cluster-like substance of them, the light is deflected and bent – a phenomenon known as “gravitational lensing”, astrophysicists and studies Lead author of Massimo Meneggetti of the Observatory of Astrophysics and astronomy at Bologna and National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy.

New observations have shown that the gravitational lensing effects produced by galaxies living inside massive galaxy clusters were far stronger than in current galaxy matter theory, suggesting an unexpectedly large concentration of dark matter in these galaxies.

“It’s quite amazing,” Menegaty said.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)