Yale University | 2017 Mar 01
A Yale-led team has produced one of the highest-resolution maps of dark matter ever created, offering a detailed case for the existence of cold dark matter — sluggish particles that comprise the bulk of matter in the universe.
- Detailed map of reconstructed dark matter clump distributions in a distant galaxy cluster, MACS J0416, obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields data. The unseen matter in this map is comprised of a smooth heap of dark matter on which clumps form. (Credit: P. Natarajan et al, MNRAS, 2017)
The dark matter map is derived from Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields data of a trio of galaxy clusters that act as cosmic magnifying glasses to peer into older, more distant parts of the universe, a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.
Yale astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan led an international team of researchers that analyzed the Hubble images. “With the data of these three lensing clusters we have successfully mapped the granularity of dark matter within the clusters in exquisite detail,” Natarajan said. “We have mapped all of the clumps of dark matter that the data permit us to detect, and have produced the most detailed topological map of the dark matter landscape to date.” ...
Mapping substructure in the HST Frontier Fields cluster lenses and in cosmological simulations - Priyamvada Natarajan et al