In a Cosmology Breakthrough, Astronomers Measure a Filament of Dark Matter

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 13:00 in Astronomy & Space

Dark Matter Filament This image shows the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and Abell 223 connected by a dark matter filament. The blue shading and the yellow contours indicate matter density. This image on the sky is about twice as big as the full moon. Jörg Dietrich, University of Michigan/University Observatory Munich Invisible, cold dark matter plays a major role in the evolution of galaxies, according to modern cosmological theory. The most advanced simulations of cosmic evolution show stringy tendrils of mass - dark matter - connecting giant clusters of galaxies via a vast cosmic web. Now for the first time, astronomers have been able to detect one of these filaments, sussing out its location by watching it warp light. In a new paper, Jörg Dietrich and colleagues report a dark matter filament attaching the Abell 222-223 supercluster system. The team used the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea to observe the galaxy clusters,...

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