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 Found: Dark matter string between galaxy clusters

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PostSubject: Found: Dark matter string between galaxy clusters    Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:54 pm

Found: Dark matter string between galaxy clusters

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Astronomers: Unseen Substance Spotted For First Time


Washington: For the first time,astronomers have discovered a giant string of invisible dark matter across the universe between a pair of galaxy clusters.The universe is thought to be filled with such strings of dark matter,a mysterious substance that cannot be seen,only sensed through its gravitational pull.
Scientists have made many attempts earlier to find dark matter filaments,which are predicted by theories that suggest galaxy clusters form at the intersections of filaments.Dark matter is thought to make up 98% of all matter in the universe.Now,scientists find a giant filament that forms a bridge between two huge clusters called Abell 222 and Abell 223,which lie 2.7 billion light-years away.
This is the first time (a dark matter filament) has been convincingly detected from its gravitational lensing effect, said Jorg Dietrich,an astronomer at the University Observatory Munich in Germany.
Its a resounding confirmation of the standard theory of structure formation of the universe.And its a confirmation people didnt think was possible at this point, Dietrich said.Many astronomers thought detecting filaments would have to wait until telescopes became significantly more advanced,but Dietrich and his colleagues benefited from the rare spatial geometry of this cluster,which allowed them to detect signs of whats called weak gravitational lensing.PTI

Vanishing dust belt around star baffles scientists


In a cosmic case of now-you-see-it,now-you-dont,a brilliant disk of dust around a Sun-like star has suddenly vanished,and the scientists who observed the disappearance arent sure about what happened.Typically,the kind of dusty haloes that circle stars have the makings of rocky planets like Earth,according to Ben Zuckerman,one of a team of researchers who reported the finding on Wednesday in the journal Nature.Composed of warm dusty material,these disks can be seen by telescopes looking for infrared light.This one was first seen in 1983 by Nasas Infrared Astronomical Satellite around the young star TYC 8241 2652.It glowed for a quarter-century before disappearing in a matter of 2-1 /2 years.An image taken May 1 by the Gemini observatory at La Serena,Chile,confirmed that the disk was gone.Astronomers are accustomed to watching events that have unfolded over millions or billions of years,so seeing a bright ring depart from view in less than three years was an eye-blink in the astronomical context,Zuckerman said by telephone from the University of California-Los Angeles.REUTERS
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