Credit: X-ray(NASA/CXC/Stanford/S.Allen); Optical/Lensing(NASA/STScI/UC Santa Barbara/M.Bradac)

Clash of Clusters Separates Dark Matter From Ordinary Matter

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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A powerful collision of galaxy clusters captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory provides evidence for dark matter and insight into its properties. Observations of the cluster known as MACS J0025.4-1222 indicate that a titanic collision has separated dark matter from ordinary matter. The images also provide an independent confirmation of a similar effect detected previously in a region called the Bullet Cluster. Like the Bullet Cluster, this newly studied cluster shows a clear separation between dark and ordinary matter.

MACS J0025 formed after an enormously energetic collision between two large clusters. Using visible-light images from Hubble, the team was able to infer the distribution of the total mass — dark and ordinary matter. Hubble was used to map the dark matter (colored in blue) using a technique known as gravitational lensing. The Chandra data enabled the astronomers to accurately map the position of the ordinary matter, mostly in the form of hot gas, which glows brightly in X-rays (pink).

As the two clusters that formed MACS J0025 (each almost a whopping quadrillion times the mass of the Sun) merged at speeds of millions of miles per hour, the hot gas in the two clusters collided and slowed down, but the dark matter passed right through the smashup. The separation between the material shown in pink and blue therefore provides observational evidence for dark matter and supports the view that dark-matter particles interact with each other only very weakly or not at all, apart from the pull of gravity.

On the Chandra website, there are two animations, one that shows the different views of this cluster viewed by the different observatories, and another depicting how the galaxies may have collided.

Bullet Cluster.  Credit:  NASA/CXC/CfA/STScI

Bullet Cluster. Credit: NASA/CXC/CfA/STScI

These new results show that the Bullet Cluster is not an anomalous case and helps answers questions about how dark matter interacts with itself.

Sources: HubbleSite, Chandra


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Dutch Delight
Guest
Dutch Delight
August 27, 2008 11:12 AM

Don’t these researchers read the posts here? DM is just a dogmatic assertion brought about by scientists needing your money to fund their pet projects!!!

If you don’t believe me, try and get fired by your boss for being stupid, then try to say it was just a joke and then you’ll see!

Sili
Member
Sili
August 27, 2008 11:55 AM

Heh. Almost like the real thing.

Awesome to see the Bullet Cluster reproduced. That’s the way of Science!

10^(3+4*3) (unless you’re actually using the proper names – “long form”) is all fine and dandy, but I think it’d be a tad more comprehensible if you give the mass relative to the Milky Way. It is a cluster of galaxies, not just stars, after all.

Matt S.
Member
August 27, 2008 1:23 PM

@Dutch Delight: lolz, it’s obviously photoshopped!!1 lmao

Ehm, seriously. Go science! D:

robert appleton
Guest
robert appleton
August 27, 2008 10:17 PM

I see and believe in what you are doing and sharing. Thank you.

robert appleton
Guest
robert appleton
August 27, 2008 10:18 PM

I see and believe in what you are showing and sharing. Thank you.

RetardedFishFrog
Guest
RetardedFishFrog
August 27, 2008 4:10 PM

Still not buying it.

I’m sure they checked the spectral absorption in the region for the distribution of hydrogen. They see the hot gas because it’s easy to see. So how much cold gas is there, and does it fit the observed gravitational data? It would be funny if the researchers have thought themselves into a box and overlooked the obvious.

Polaris93
Member
August 27, 2008 11:28 PM
Jack Burton Says: “i will believe in dark matter when i can go to Home Depot and buy a 10 lbs bag of it. Until then it is all crap.” That’s like saying “I’ll believe that the Earth goes around the Sun, not vice-versa, when I can bring both into my living-room and watch what they do. Until then, it’s all crap.” A great many very important things that almost all of us accept as real, from gravity to the natures of the chemical elements, are only known by inference and as spinoffs of mathematical equations. Calling people names, or belittling them for accepting circumstantial evidence when it is solid *and* that’s all we have for our ideas… Read more »
Nathan Myers
Guest
Nathan Myers
August 27, 2008 5:55 PM

Is it possible for any observation to fail to confirm dark matter? If it did, could it be published? If so, where?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
August 27, 2008 7:34 PM

Yeah, the blue is something….. Dark matter? Prove it, please. Its just a left over in math, which doesn’t prove anything. Looks to me like a mathematical equation where we don’t know all the original variables, and so we are “forgetting to carry the one”. Come on, now… Your blog sounds more like you are trying desperately to prove something w/o all the knowledge to back it up. The more of these articles you publish, the less and less I believe it exists!

Andrew
Member
Andrew
August 27, 2008 7:59 PM

What’s with the trolls lately?

Jack Burton
Guest
Jack Burton
August 27, 2008 8:01 PM

i will believe in dark matter when i can go to Home Depot and buy a 10 lbs bag of it. Until then it is all crap.

hippykicker
Guest
hippykicker
August 27, 2008 8:19 PM

I kinda feel the same way about god.

Helloop2000
Guest
Helloop2000
August 27, 2008 8:20 PM

Jack Burton Says:
August 27th, 2008 at 8:01 pm
“i will believe in dark matter when i can go to Home Depot and buy a 10 lbs bag of it. Until then it is all crap.”

I see what you did there, clever.

jerry
Guest
jerry
August 27, 2008 8:25 PM

After a half century of trying to nail down DM particles; we are still right where we started: observing very distant events that do not make sense without assuming something exists of which we know next to nothing about.

texzoo
Guest
August 27, 2008 10:39 PM

I would prefer Wal-Mart over home depot,that way, I would know it’s real dark matter, because China has never made anything original.

csrster
Guest
csrster
August 27, 2008 11:35 PM

It is of course possible to buy bags of dark matter at Home Depot. The sell little else.

Bridh Hancock
Guest
Bridh Hancock
August 27, 2008 11:58 PM

I would like to see this photo again, but with annotation saying what is happinging to what, where and how. Please spell it out more clearly for me. I would like to know where the DarkMatter is. Is the DM truly invisible? and what has it done and where?
I wonder if that information will help others and the comments will improve.

Prime
Member
Prime
August 28, 2008 8:38 AM

Plasma takes many forms, both hot and cold.

Prime

sidney P. Buford
Guest
sidney P. Buford
August 28, 2008 4:22 AM

Dark matter is real. Physical matter is dark matter transformed by dynamic energy. Even nothing is something.

Aodhhan
Member
Aodhhan
August 28, 2008 4:47 AM

I think there is a lot of confusion when it comes to dark matter and dark energy. While there are many debates about dark energy, there really is a pretty big concensus for the existence of dark matter. The big debate is about exactly what it is or made of. Is it a force gone wild? Is it a particle we haven’t seen before? blah blah. Right now, it is too small to catch; as proven by this article. It goes/passes through things and seems to linger around them afterwards in areas; in seemingly a predictable manner

The fact Another one of those crazy things we hope the LHC will help us solve.

wpDiscuz