Of all of the questions going through astronomers at present, a number of the greatest unknowns are concerning the stuff that makes up many of the universe. We all know that the bizarre matter we see throughout us makes up simply 5% of all that exists, whereas the remaining is made up of darkish matter and darkish power. However as a result of darkish matter doesn’t work together with mild, this can be very laborious to check — we’ve to deduce its existence and place from wanting on the means it interacts with the bizarre matter round it.

The Victor M. Blanco Telescope dome on the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, the place the Darkish Vitality Digicam used for the not too long ago accomplished Darkish Vitality Survey is housed. Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Current analysis helps on this process by producing probably the most correct map up to now of how each matter and darkish matter are unfold throughout the universe. Astronomers collected info from two completely different telescopes, the Darkish Vitality Survey telescope and the South Pole Telescope, to make their map as exact as attainable.

For each telescope knowledge units, the researchers used the phenomenon of gravitational lensing — wherein an enormous physique like a star, galaxy, or galaxy cluster warps spacetime and acts like a magnifying glass — to detect each common matter and darkish matter.

By comparing maps of the sky from the Dark Energy Survey telescope (at left) with data from the South Pole Telescope and the Planck satellite (at right), the team could infer how the matter is distributed.
By evaluating maps of the sky from the Darkish Vitality Survey telescope ( from left) with knowledge from the South Pole Telescope and the Planck satellite tv for pc, the crew might infer how the matter is distributed. Yuuki Omori

The outcomes introduced some surprises, like the truth that matter is much less clumpy than can be anticipated primarily based on present fashions of how the universe shaped. It reveals that the matter is extra evenly unfold out that predicted. If different surveys discover comparable outcomes, this might point out that there’s something lacking from present theories on how the universe shaped within the interval instantly following the Large Bang.

“I feel this train confirmed each the challenges and advantages of doing these sorts of analyses,” mentioned one of many lead authors of the analysis, Chihway Chang of the College of Chicago, in a assertion. “There’s quite a lot of new issues you are able to do whenever you mix these completely different angles of wanting on the universe.”

The analysis is revealed in three papers within the journal Bodily Evaluate D.

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