Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 322 of 960

May 15, 2007 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2007-17

Hubble Finds Ring of Dark Matter

Back

Image: Searching for Dark Matter in a Galaxy Cluster

Searching for Dark Matter in a Galaxy ClusterSTScI-PRC2007-17b

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Print-use download options: These files are designed to fit on letter-size paper

Highest-quality download options
The best resolution available can be found here.

ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This rich galaxy cluster, catalogued as Cl 0024+17, is allowing astronomers to probe the distribution of dark matter in space. The blue streaks near the center of the image are the smeared images of very distant galaxies that are not part of the cluster. The distant galaxies appear distorted because their light is being bent and magnified by the powerful gravity of Cl 0024+17, an effect called gravitational lensing.

Dark matter cannot be seen because it does not shine or reflect light. Astronomers can only detect its influence by how its gravity affects light. By mapping the distorted light created by gravitational lensing, astronomers can trace how dark matter is distributed in the cluster. While mapping the dark matter, astronomers found a dark-matter ring near the cluster's center. The ring's discovery is among the strongest evidence that dark matter exists.

The Hubble observations were taken in November 2004 by the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Object Names: CL0024+17, ZwCl 0024+1652

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, M.J. Jee and H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

All images from this news release:

To access available information and downloadable versions of images in this news release, click on any of the images below: