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Cluster of Dark Matter Baffles Scientists

  • Ghost32
  • uploaded: Mar 5, 2012
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Transcript by http://www.newsy.com/

BY ADNAN S. KHAN
ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

New images from the Hubble telescope reveal to scientists that they may have been in the dark about 'dark matter.'

Scientist have discovered the existence of a clump of dark matter dubbed the 'dark core' in the galaxy cluster known as Abell 520. The 'core' was created after a number of galaxies collided with each other. The problem — the existence of this core does not line up with the current understanding of dark matter.

According to the original theory, dark matter acts as an invisible glue that holds galaxies together and is considered inseparable from the galaxies themselves. But Abell 520 doesn't seem to jive with that thesis. An astrophysicist from the University of Victoria says...

"Here, the dark matter appears to have pooled to form the dark core, but most of the associated galaxies seem to have moved on. We had hoped when we got a better look at it with Hubble, the dark core would not be there. But instead it shows up with much greater significance than before."

If you looked at the image and didn't see anything similar to a 'dark core,' don't worry. Dark matter is invisible. TG Daily explains how scientists discovered the core.

"...dark matter often acts like a magnifying glass - bending and distorting light from galaxies and clusters behind it. Astronomers can use the effect, dubbed gravitational lensing, to infer the presence of dark matter in massive galaxy clusters."

MSNBC reports the original theory was supported by the actions of another galaxy merger known as the Bullet Cluster, where the dark matter blasted through the collision along with its associated galaxies, like a 'dog on a leash.' The news organization quotes an astronomer at the University of California Davis.

"We know of maybe six examples of high-speed galaxy cluster collisions where the dark matter has been mapped. But the Bullet Cluster and Abell 520 are the two that show the clearest evidence of recent mergers, and they are inconsistent with each other."

The inconsistencies are worrisome for many scientists. A writer for Digital Trend says because only half a dozen cluster collisions have been observed, the Bullet Cluster theory is far from being 'bullet-proof.'
"One theory among the researchers' guesses that dark matter might actually be 'sticky' and somehow became attached to itself, instead of to the luminous galaxies as usual. Another possibility is that a galaxy may exist near the dark matter that Hubble simply can't see."

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