Massive Image Suggests Galaxies Could be Connected with Dark Matter Web: Research

Massive Image Suggests Galaxies Could be Connected with Dark Matter Web: Research

A massive image captured by astronomers and researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada suggests that galaxies are connected through an intricate web of dark matter. Dark matter hasn’t been clearly understood by astronomers yet and by using gravitational lensing, researchers have been able to figure out a web of dark matter. Gravitational lensing is used to analyze the light coming from distant galaxies. The composite image was created using several images and it suggests that galaxies are tied with a web of dark matter.

Using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the research team surveyed 23,000 galaxy pairs. A composite image generated after their observation led them to suggest the presence of dark matter filaments between galaxies. Astronomers suggest that dark matter exists nearly five times the normal matter in the Universe. However, direct detection of dark matter has remained elusive till date.

Dark matter, a mysterious substance that comprises around 25 per cent of the universe, doesn’t shine, absorb or reflect light, which has traditionally made it largely undetectable, except through gravity.

“For decades, researchers have been predicting the existence of dark-matter filaments between galaxies that act like a web-like superstructure connecting galaxies together,” said Mike Hudson, a professor of astronomy at the University of Waterloo. “This image moves us beyond predictions to something we can see and measure.”

As per Tech Times report, “University of Amsterdam physicist Erik Verlinde claims that dark matter is not necessary to explain the effects that have been attributed to it and offers a new theory of gravity that does not necessitate the involvement of dark matter in the motion of stars in galaxies.”

Study lead researcher Margot Brouwer of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, said, “The dark matter model actually fits slightly better with the data than Verlinde's prediction. But then if you mathematically factor in the fact that Verlinde's prediction doesn't have any free parameters, whereas the dark matter prediction does, then you find Verlinde's model is actually performing slightly better.”

The research paper detailing the observations of the team has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.