The Hubble Space Telescope detected a cluster of galaxies Abell S1063. The huge mass of the cluster, containing ordinary and dark matter, acts as a magnifying glass, distorting the objects behind it. Astronomers used the effect of gravitational lensing to calculate the distribution of dark matter in galactic clusters. There is another way - to study the light inside the cluster (blue), following the distribution of dark matter
A new way of mapping the distribution of mysterious dark matter. New studies show that stars (wandering) cut off from their native galaxies in huge clusters of galaxies can serve as dark matter probes. It turns out that extremely weak light in clusters of galaxies reflects the distribution of dark matter.
Dark matter is 6 times more common than normal, of which we are all, trees, planets and stars. However, dark matter is difficult to study, because matter does not emit light and remains invisible to observe. Scientists can confirm its presence only indirectly, mainly through fixing the gravitational influence on ordinary matter. For example, astronomers map the distribution of dark matter in massive clusters of galaxies, studying how they distort the light of objects behind them. This phenomenon is called gravitational lensing. However, this is a laborious process and takes a lot of time. Now researchers believe that the rays emitted by the light inside the cluster are the best method for displaying dark matter. This conclusion was provided by the analysis of photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope, which captured 6 different galactic clusters.
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows light inside a cluster of galaxies (blue) MACS J0416
Scientists are pleased with the relative ease with which one can study the light inside clusters of galaxies. To do this, you only need to get more pictures of the deep field, that is, to expand the sample beyond the six studied galactic clusters. Such studies can be carried out with the help of Hubble or future instruments, like the telescope of James Webb. It should be launched in March 2021, and the cost of the project is $ 8.8 billion.