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Ominous ‘Dark Core’ created after Galactic collision

The Hubble telescope has found some disturbing images in space detailing a mass of ‘dark matter’ which is said to have appeared after a huge galactic collision. This dark matter however isn’t acting the way scientists would expect.

This Dark Core has confused scientists as it is holding far fewer galaxies than expected. The findings could potentially change the understanding of dark matter.

This composite image, captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii shows the distribution of dark matter, galaxies, and hot gas in the core of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520, formed from a violent collision of massive galaxy clusters. NASA, ESA, CFHT, CXO, M.J. Jee (University of California, Davis), and A. Mahdavi (San Francisco State University)

The data was so confusing for experts that it was ignored in 2007 and classified as ‘bad data’. New data which was obtained by the Hubble telescope in 2008 confirmed the previous findings however – of dark matter and galaxies parting ways.

The new evidence has been formed around observations of a distant merging galaxy cluster which is named Abell 520. Astronomers now have to explain why the dark matter isn’t behaving as it should.

Christian Science Monitor add “Current theories on dark matter state that it may be a kind of gravitational “glue” that holds galaxies together. One of the other interesting properties of dark matter is that by all accounts, it’s not made of same stuff as people and planets, yet interacts “gravitationally” with normal matter. Current methods to study dark matter are to analyze galactic mergers, since galaxies will interact differently than their dark matter halos. The current theories are supported by visual observations of galaxy mergers in the Bullet Cluster, and have become a classic example of our current understanding of dark matter.

Studies of Abell 520 are causing astronomers to think twice about our current understanding of dark matter. Initial observations found dark matter and hot gas, but lacked luminous galaxies – which are normally detected in the same regions as dark matter concentrations. Attempting to make sense of the observations, the astronomers used Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to map dark matter in the cluster using a gravitational lensing technique.”

Kitguru says: Scientists are scratching their heads, as they search for answers.

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