The DES is an attempt to map as many galaxies as possible as it can because dark matter gravity has a strong role in determining the distribution of those galaxies. From August 2013 to January 2019, dozens of scientists came together to measure the sky in the near infrared with the four-meter-high Victor M. Blanco telescope in Chile.
There are two keys to creating the map. The most important thing is to easily observe the arrangement and distribution of galaxies throughout the universe. This association tells scientists where the best concentrations of dark matter are.
The second is the commentary on the gravitational lensing effect, a phenomenon in which the sunshine emitted by galaxies is gravitationally stretched by dark matter because it hits the surface. The effect corresponds to wanting through a magnifying glass. Scientists use gravitational lenses to infer how much area near dark matter really takes up. The more the sunlight distorts, the lumpier the dark matter becomes.
The latest results take into account DES information for the first three years and depend on more than 226 million galaxies observed over 345 nights. “We are actually able to image dark matter over 1/4 of the southern hemisphere,” says Niall Jeffrey, a researcher from College School London and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, one of many venture leaders at DES.
Basically, the information agrees with the so-called Customary Mannequin of Cosmology, which postulates that the universe was created within the Big Bang and that its entire mass-energy content material consists of 95% dark matter and dark force. And the brand new map gave scientists a deeper look into a number of the universe’s vast dark matter structures that otherwise remain invisible to us. The brightest factors on the map mean the best concentrations of dark matter and type clusters and halos around very sparse cavities.
However, some results were shocking. “We found evidence that the universe is smoother than expected,” says Jeffrey. “These clues are also noticed in various gravitational lens experiments.”
This is not what general relativity predicts, which means that dark matter must be particularly lumpy and less evenly distributed. The authors write in one of many 30 articles printed that “while the evidence is by no means the last, we might begin to see evidence of brand new physics”. For cosmologists, “this could be a feasible change within the legal guidelines of gravity as described by Einstein,” says Jeffrey.
While the implications are monumental, a warning is suggested since we still know so little about dark matter (one thing we just have to look at). Jeffrey notes, for example, that “when galaxies near galaxies are surprisingly in an orientation attributable to complex astrophysics, our lens results can be misled.”
In other words, there might well be some unique explanations for the results – perhaps in methods that might be consistent with general relativity. That will be an important reduction for any astrophysicist whose entire life’s work depends on Einstein being correct. And let’s not overlook the fact that general relativity has withstood all of the opposing tests that have been placed on it over the years surprisingly well.
The results are already making waves, although some additional DES information is still pending. “Astronomers are already using these maps to examine the buildings of the cosmic web and to better understand the connection between galaxies and dark matter,” says Jeffrey. We couldn’t have to wait too long to find out if the results are indeed a slip-up or if our understanding of the universe requires a major overhaul.