Scientists confounded by new findings on universe's mysterious dark matter - Reuters
Sep 15, 2020 51 secs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies including our own Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature.

Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed.

When the light from distant sources like faraway galaxies travels through matter such as another galaxy or a cluster of them, the light is deflected and bends - a phenomenon called “gravitational lensing,” said astrophysicist and study lead author Massimo Meneghetti of the Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science in Bologna and National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy.

The new observations showed that gravitational lensing effects produced by galaxies residing inside the huge galaxy clusters were far stronger than current dark matter theory envisioned, suggesting an unexpectedly large concentration of dark matter in these galaxies.


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