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Faint light in Hubble image helps astronomers map dark matter

Faint light in Hubble image helps astronomers map dark matter

Science
Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Scientists have yet to directly detect dark matter, and they don't know what dark matter actually is. But dark matter's presence and influence is reflected in the patterns and movement of light. Using data collected by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have developed a new way to "see" dark matter via distant starlight. "We have found that very faint light in galaxy clusters, the intracluster light, maps how dark matter is distributed," Mireia Montes, researcher at the University of New South Wales, said in a news release. Intracluster light is the light produced by stars ripped from their homes by the gravity of nearby galaxies. According to Montes and her colleagues, once freed from the gravity of their home galaxy, the roaming stars congregate near concentra...