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Distribution of dark matter

Distribution of dark matter

R980/0074

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Credit

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES / BELL LABS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES / BELL LABS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Dark matter distribution. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data showing the distribution of invisible dark matter in a cluster of galaxies. This 3- dimensional map shows the concentration of dark matter as height, with individual galaxies appear- ing as pinnacles. This map was produced by analys- ing light from a distant galaxy that had been bent by the gravity of a nearer cluster of galaxies. This gravitational lens created multiple images of the distant galaxy that allowed the mass distribu- tion to be calculated; the mass of visible matter, such as stars, was then subtracted. Most of the galaxy cluster's mass was found to be dark matter.

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