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Astronomers made the first maps of the distribution of dark matter in the Universe

International Project Dark Energy Survey, which combined astronomers who studied the nature of dark energy, published the first of a series of maps of the forthcoming distribution of dark matter throughout the universe. The main objective of the project is to clarify the process of galaxy formation and how it is influenced by the dark matter.

In August 2013, 23 astrophysical organizations around the world started to observe the sky, as a result of which the scientists would get a detailed description of the distribution of dark matter. The project uses a special digital camera Dark Energy Camera - this is one of the largest digital cameras, its resolution is 570 megapixels. It works on the basis of 4-meter telescope, located in Chile.

In the two years since the beginning of the study, astronomers have received 130 million photos, which were then processed using supercomputers. Leading astronomer Sarah Bridle compares the volume of calculations carried out with 500 regular desktop computers running continuously for two weeks.

Since dark matter interacts with ordinary matter only through gravity, it is impossible to see it. Its presence can only be judged by the effect of gravitational lensing, which distorts coming to us from distant galaxies light. Exactly this distortion is processed by scientists.

The data obtained so far confirms the theory: if the dark matter in the universe is greater than usual, and the formation of galaxies should occur around clusters of dark matter. In fact, these clusters are just in places where galaxies and the whole galaxy clusters were formed.

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 07-04-2015