NASA scientists suspect that something is missing in theories about dark matter. Theoretical computer simulations contradict the observation of dark matter concentrations in a sample of massive galaxies clusters.

The Difference Between Dark Matter Theory and Computer Simulations

The unexpected discrepancy between computer simulations and the observation of samples of a cluster of galaxies in space has led NASA scientists to think they have gaps in the dark matter theories.

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The difference between theories about dark matter and computer simulations manifested itself in the so-called distribution of dark matter in clusters. The gravity of dark matter bends and magnifies light from distant galaxies. This phenomenon, called the gravitational lens, allows astronomers to study distant galaxies that they would not otherwise be able to observe.

The gravitational lens works similarly to a magnifying glass or a telescope lens. The higher the concentration of dark matter in a heap, the more pronounced its light-bending effect.

Observation Results

Researchers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile have found that some small concentrations of dark matter cause a lens effect ten times stronger than expected.

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“We have done a lot of testing of the data in this study, and we are sure that this mismatch indicates that some physical ingredient is missing either from the simulations or from our understanding of the nature of dark matter,” said Massimo Meneghetti of the INAF-Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science of Bologna in Italy, the study’s lead author.

Dark matter forms a substantial part of the galaxy and the vast basic structure of our universe. This mysterious matter is practically invisible. Its existence was determined based on gravitational action on the surrounding visible matter and bodies. Scientists are still trying to find out what it is.

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