Spanish astrophysics at the Australian University of New South Wales, Mireia Montes, said Thursday in a statement that it was found "a way to see" – " the distribution of dark matter in the clusters of galaxies, which could be used to explore the ultimate nature of the above-mentioned subject.
"We found that light very weak in clusters of galaxies, the Intracumular light"It maps how dark matter is distributed," said Montes, who is also the lead author of a study on the subject, which was recently published in the Monthly Notices magazine of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom.
In the last decades, astronomers have tried to understand the true nature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about 85% of matter in the universe, as well as mapping its distribution in the universe.
Montes, together with his colleague from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, the Spanish Ignacio Trujillo, used a revolutionary method consisting of use deep images only. The way mentioned can help to understand this invisible source of gravity.
What is Intracumular Light?
Intracumular light is a by-product of interactions between galaxies. In the course of these interactions, individual stars are stripped of their galaxies and float freely within the cluster. Once free from their galaxies, they end up where, in the form of dark matter, most of the mass of the cluster resides.
"The reason why the intracumulus light is an excellent dark matter tracker in a cluster of galaxies is that both the dark matter and the stars that make up the intracumular light float freely in the gravitational potential of the cluster itself, so what they follow exactly the same gravity", Sublinhou Montes.
The results of the study mean that only using deep-space observations of clusters of galaxies can astrophysicists accurately map where dark matter resides.
"We have found a new way of looking at the place where dark matter should be because it is tracing exactly the same gravitational potential, we can illuminate the position of dark matter with very weak brightness," he concluded.
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