Saturday, April 14, 2012

When Galaxies Collide:Enormous Clump of Dark Matter Left Behind Following Violent Collision of Galaxy Clusters.

Galaxy clusters are massive collections containing tens or even thousands of galaxies gravitationally bound together. They contain large amounts of dark matter — a strange form of matter that interacts through gravity but gives off no light — which is thought to provide an anchor attracting visible matter to a specific spot.
The clump of mysterous dark matter is located in the Abell 520 cluster, a diffuse collection of galaxies located 2.4 billion light-years away in the constellation Orion. The celestial object, sometimes called the Train Wreck cluster, is thought to be the remnant of a chaotic crash between several galaxy clusters.
Though dark matter is invisible, the new study used a technique called gravitational lensing to show its presence. Massive objects distort light coming from behind them. By looking for light from a distant object and observing the amount to which it is bent, astronomers can infer the amount of mass in a particular location.
 An analysis with the Hubble space telescope confirms the odd dark core exists, throwing researchers for a loop. The findings appear  in The Astrophysical Journal.
click picture for complete story
example of galaxy cluster

No comments:

Post a Comment