Mapping a cosmic unknown

Date:21 May 2012 Tags:, ,

Dark matter makes up about a quarter of the matter in the universe and scientists still don’t know exactly what it is – but at least now they know where it is. An international team spent five years observing 10 million galaxies using a 340-megapixel camera mounted on a telescope in Hawaii. By studying how the light from these galaxies was deflected along its route to Earth by the gravitational force exerted by clumps of invisible dark matter, the researchers were able to piece together a map of dark matter’s distribution spanning more than a billion light-years. It is the first glimpse of dark matter on such a large scale.

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