Scientists have released their biggest image yet of dark energy or dark matter – an elusive substance despite it occupying 85% of the universe’s mass. A team from the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope took four different images, each at a different season of the year – when combined, the images represent over 10 million galaxies.
Dark matter is of interest to some pagans because of a theoretical link to how people can affect and direct energy.
The researchers used the light from the galaxies to infer dark matter. “Light coming toward us from a distant galaxy is bent by the gravity of a lump of matter in the middle,” said Catherine Heymans of the University of Edinburgh.
“Einstein”s theory of general relativity tells us that mass bends space and time, so when light comes toward us through the Universe, if it passes some dark matter, its light gets bent and the image we see gets bent and distorted.”
The image shows dark matter distributed as a network of gigantic dense (white) regions which trail off into empty (dark) regions – voids where no matter is believed to exist. The white regions in the picture are about the size of several (earth) moons. Scientists are debating if dark matter acts like a giant web, holding the galaxies within it.