SCIENTISTS have for the first time detected dark matter from billions of years ago.
The giant leap reveals the nature of the dark matter surrounding galaxies 12 billion years ago.
That’s billions of years more than we’ve ever seen before.
As if the mighty achievement weren’t enough, initial findings are giving new clues to the history of our cosmos.
Experts believe the rules of the universe may differ when examining the early history of our universe.
Dark matter is inherently difficult to study.
This leaves scientists with the difficult task of waiting for light to travel through and emanate from galaxies.
The more distorted it gets, the more dark matter there must be.
In addition, the finite speed of light makes it even more difficult for scientists to see something that happened so long ago.
To see further, a team of experts tried something different.
They decided to use a different background light source.
Instead, they grabbed microwaves released by the Big Bang.
By looking at microwave distortions, they were able to look much further back to see galaxies shortly after they were formed.
“Most researchers use source galaxies to measure the distribution of dark matter from the present to eight billion years ago,” said assistant professor Yuichi Harikane of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo.
Dark Matter: The invisible material that makes up 27% of the universe
Dark matter is a material that scientists believe makes up almost a third of the known universe.
It has never been observed by scientists because it does not reflect light and is therefore invisible.
Astronomers only know it exists because it affects other objects, such as the gravitational pull of galaxies.
According to the European Space Agency: “Shine a flashlight into a completely dark room and you will only see what the flashlight illuminates.
“It doesn’t mean that the space around you doesn’t exist.
“Similarly, we know dark matter exists, but have never observed it directly.”
Dark matter is thought to hold galaxies together, preventing the rapidly spinning objects from being torn apart by their own gravity.
It is closely associated with dark energy, another hypothetical substance thought to make up 68% of the known universe.
Taken together, this means that 95% of the universe is made up of dark energy or dark matter – meaning that all but 5% of the cosmos cannot be explained by modern physics.
“However, we were able to look further back in time because we used the more distant CMB to measure dark matter.
“For the first time we have measured dark matter from almost the earliest moments of the universe.”
Hironao Miyatake from Nagoya University added: “Our outcome is still uncertain.
“But if it’s true, going further back in time would suggest that the entire model is flawed.
“This is exciting because if the result holds after reducing the uncertainties, it could indicate an improvement in the model that could provide insight into the nature of dark matter itself.”
Their research was revealed in Physical Review Letters.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9188431/dark-matter-12-billion-years-ago/ The nature of dark matter is revealed as scientists look billions of years further than ever before