Hubble Helps Make a 3-D Map of Dark Matter

3-D map of dark matter. Image credit: HubbleA team of astronomers has created a three-dimensional map of dark matter distribution across the Universe. This map gives some of the best evidence that normal matter, like you and me, stars and planets, accumulate around the densest regions of dark matter.

The map was made using the Hubble Space Telescope’s largest survey of the Universe, the Cosmic Evolution Survey. An international team of 70 astronomers measured the shapes of 500,000 galaxies in this survey, looking for subtle distortions. These distortions are due to the gravitational warping of intervening dark matter. The more distortions, the more dark matter in a region.

Their research suggest that dark matter started out evenly distributed across the Universe, and then began to pull together and clump into long filaments. And at the heart of these filaments, we see the largest concentrations of regular matter.

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