Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies

Who knew?


photo via NASA/Yale

Excerpt:    Hubble Space Telescope data, analyzed by a Yale astronomer using gravitational lensing techniques, has generated a spatial map demonstrating the clumped substructure of dark matter inside clusters of galaxies.   

Clusters of galaxies (about a million, million times the mass of our sun), are typically made up of hundreds of galaxies bound together by gravity. About 90 percent of their mass is dark matter. The rest is ordinary atoms in the form of hot gas and stars. 

Although little is known about it, cold dark matter is thought to have structure at all magnitudes. Theoretical models of the clumping properties were derived from detailed, high resolution simulations of the growth of structure in the Universe. Although previous evidence supported the “concordance model” of a Universe mostly composed of cold, dark matter, the predicted substructure had never been detected.

Substructure Maps Show that Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies
Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale assistant professor of astronomy and physics
YALE University   , January 6, 2005

Posted at 10:59 AM in Science | Permalink


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