Study sheds light on dark matter

Feb 06, 2006

British astronomers say they have, for the first time, determined some of the physical characteristics of dark matter.

The researchers utilizing the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile used 23 hours of observing time to explore the strange material that dominates the universe, but which is invisible to current telescope technology because it emits no light or radiation, the BBC reported Monday.

The team from the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge said it has determined how dark matter is "packed," as well as its "temperature," Professor Gerry Gilmore told the BBC.

Scientists estimate dark matter makes up more than 95 percent of all the mass in the universe.

The research team also concluded the Milky Way galaxy is more massive than thought.

"It now looks as though the Milky Way is the biggest galaxy in the local universe, bigger even than Andromeda," said Gilmore. "It was thought until just a few months ago that it was the other way around."

The Cambridge team expects to submit the first of its results to an astrophysics journal within the next few weeks.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Controlling defects in engineered liquid crystals

Related Stories

Blue Freedom uses power of flowing water to charge

7 hours ago

Good friends may decide to tell you something that is not true but nonetheless sustaining: Nothing is impossible. That was the case of Blue Freedom co-founder who asked his friend if it would be possible ...

The Milky Way's new companion galaxies

Mar 18, 2015

When we think of cosmology, we often imagine the largest telescopes peering into the deepest space, collecting the feeble light from exploding stars or the first galaxies.

Recommended for you

Soft, energy-efficient robotic wings

11 hours ago

Dielectric elastomers are novel materials for making actuators or motors with soft and lightweight properties that can undergo large active deformations with high-energy conversion efficiencies. This has ...

Trapping and watching motile cells

14 hours ago

A new approach enables rapid characterization of living suspension cells in 4 dimensions while they are immobilized and manipulated within optical traps.

Controlling defects in engineered liquid crystals

15 hours ago

Sitting with a joystick in the comfort of their chairs, scientists can play "rodeo" on a screen magnifying what is happening under their microscope. They rely on optical tweezers to manipulate an intangible ring created out ...

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields

Mar 30, 2015

There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.