Hendrik Hildebrandt was the head of a team of astronomers from institutions around the world. They took upon themselves the mission to crack the mystery of space once and for all. So, they used the ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) in Chile to take images of five patches of space. The pictures covered an area of almost 2,200 times the size of the Moon. They captured the presence of over 15 million galaxies. The astronomers found new details about the invisible dark matter that we know so little about.
The next step was to analyze the data from the Kilo-Degree Survey. Thanks to revolutionary computer software, the team was able to carry out one of the most detailed measurements of space ever done by humanity. The scanning obtained more information about a phenomenon called cosmic shear. This is a more seamless version of weak gravitational lensing. The light from far away galaxies is captured by large amounts of matter, known as galaxy clusters. This substance emits a gravitational effect that alters the light.
However, the cosmic shear doesn’t use galaxy clusters, but large-scale structures of the Universe. These produce a weaker effect that only high-tech surveys, such as KiDS, can detect. Astronomers have finally succeeded to detect the low cosmic shear signal and record valuable data about this phenomenon.
The findings are actually contradicting the ones recorded by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite. The new measurements show a less clumpy nature of dark matter than the Planck data state. Consequently, the dark matter that covers almost one-quarter of the entire Universe is not actually the substance scientists believed it to be until now.
It is a difficult task to analyze this substance because of its unseen material. Astronomers can learn about this intriguing presence only by its gravitational effects. This is why this is actually a groundbreaking discovery. It can change the way scientists understood the evolution of Universe since Big Bang onwards. Over 14 billion years of cosmic history can expect reinterpretations based on the new findings regarding the smooth material of dark matter.
Astronomers are continuing to search the skies for more in-depth answers to the mysteries of the outer space. However, the future telescopes with better technology are needed to have a clearer picture of what is happening in the outer space.
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