Hubble's Shocking Dark Matter Discovery: Observations Suggest a Missing Ingredient in Cosmic Recipe

The Hubble image is a combination of visible- and infrared-light observations taken in 2011 by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3.Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Natarajan (Yale University), G. Caminha (University of Groningen), M. Meneghetti (INAF-Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science of Bologna), the CLASH-VLT/Zooming teams; acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH team

Researchers found that small-scale concentrations of dark matter in clusters produce gravitational lensing effects that are 10 times stronger than expected.

The researchers believe that the embedded lenses are produced by the gravity of dense concentrations of dark matter associated with individual cluster galaxies.

“Based on our spectroscopic study, we were able to associate the galaxies with each cluster and estimate their distances,” said team member Piero Rosati of the University of Ferrara in Italy.

“The stars’ speed gave us an estimate of each individual galaxy’s mass, including the amount of dark matter,” added team member Pietro Bergamini of the INAF-Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science in Bologna, Italy.

Reference: “An excess of small-scale gravitational lenses observed in galaxy clusters” by Massimo Meneghetti, Guido Davoli, Pietro Bergamini, Piero Rosati, Priyamvada Natarajan, Carlo Giocoli, Gabriel B. Caminha, R. Benton Metcalf, Elena Rasia, Stefano Borgani, Francesco Calura, Claudio Grillo, Amata Mercurio and Eros Vanzella, 11 September 2020, Science.

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