Astronomers have discovered new clues about the mysterious nature dark matter with the help of NASA’s Hubble telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The latest finding is that when dark matter collides against other dark matter it doesn’t decelerates. Previous ideas suggested that dark matter was more interactive. The new theory means that some previous assumptions about the behavior of dark matter will be abandoned, such as theories relying on strong friction between dark matter.
According to scientists, dark matter is a hypothetical type of matter which can be observed only through its impact on its surroundings. Researchers are still puzzled by what is dark matter made of and why it doesn’t reflect, absorb or emit light. At the same time, dark matter it constitutes most of the universe’s mass.
The research paper published today in the journal, Science, states that scientists measured space collisions that happened between galaxy clusters with the help of NASA’s Hubble space observatory. Hubble was able to give a precise picture of the distributions after the collision. Scientists traced the effect of gravitational forces and were thus able to find the dark matter. Astronomers also used the Chandra X-ray Observatory to record x-ray emissions from the huge gas clouds in the specified areas in space.
Our galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars, while in the vastness of the observable universe there are hundreds of billions of galaxies. And there is also a lot of gas in space. Still, with all that mass against it, dark matter makes up approximately 90 percent of the matter in all galaxies. Stephen Hawking once said about dark matter that is the “missing link in cosmology.” Scientists still struggle to understand much about its properties.
Before the new study, scientists believed that when clusters of galaxies collide, the gas that occupies the space between the stars also collides and it spreads in all directions, like splashes of water. The new research suggests that dark matter does not spread when clusters of galaxies collide. The authors of the research said that it’s unlikely that dark matter is part of a mirror version of the visible universe.
The scientists collected data on more than 30 galaxy-cluster collisions. In order to make the observations and take into account the stars, the gas and the dark matter, they complied information received from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Image Source: Red Orbit