Dark Matter Map in Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 – Astronomy Picture of the Week

This image represents the inner region of galaxy cluster Abell 1689 and the distribution of dark matter around it. Abell 1689 is an immense cluster of galaxies located 2.2 billion light-years away.

Dark Matter Map in Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689

Dark matter cannot be photographed, but its presence can be inferred by observing the light from background galaxies that is warped by the foreground cluster’s gravitational field. This method is called gravitational lensing. Knowing the distribution of dark matter through this method, the natural-color photo of this cluster taken in 2002 by the Hubble Space Telescope was modified to show dark matter as a blue overlay.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), P. Natarajan (Yale University), and J.-P. Kneib (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, CNRS, France)

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

One Comment

  • Gabor

    Dark matter is the same as Higgs boson itself.
    The high velocity values of the particles cause fluctuation on bend of space-time,
    this action is Dark energy itself.

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