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march 7, 2000 |
first "map" of dark matter

The nature of dark matter -that emits no light of any kind and can only be detected through its gravitational effects- is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of modern science.

While dark matter makes up at least 90% of the mass of the Universe, both its composition and its distribution are unknown. There is abundant circumstancial evidence that great part of this matter isn't made by protons, neutrons, and electrons. Posibly is made of neutrinos, or perhaps of most exotic matter forms.

Knowledge of *dark matter* is critical to understanding the evolution and fate of the Universe. In 1997, Bell Labs scientists released *first detailed image of the dark matter* .

Now researchers from France, Germany, Canada and United States make the first large observation (200,000 distant galaxies) of the gravitational distortion produced by dark matter, demonstrating the feasibility of mapping the dark matter distribution across large areas of the sky.

The team has developed the first "map" of dark matter in one area of sky, allowing researchers to visualize how it condensed out of the early universe and distributed itself over the course of time. The analysis has revealed the presence of a vast matrix of interconnected dark matter.
{imago}Dark matter image.
CFHT Gives First Glimpse of Dark Matter Distribution <>

:: image
Distant galaxies lensed by the dark matter of the universe. The blue elongated disks are the images of distant galaxies. The filaments of dark matter, shown here in red and white, are invisible, even to the largest telescopes available. Credit: numerical simulation by S. Colombi of the IAP.
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