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Exploding Star Provides Clue on How Dark Matter Warps Light

Posted: March 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Exploding Star Provides Clue on How Dark Matter Warps Light

Exploding star provides hint on how dark matter warps light in the universe
An exploding star has been seen by astronomers four separate times as a result of dark matter affecting the image, an Australian researcher has revealed.

A team of international scientists studying space using the Hubble Telescope found a supernova explosion appeared multiple times in different places due to the impact of gravitation on light ::::

Team member Brad Tucker from the Australian National University in Canberra said a cluster of galaxies and dark matter in front of the explosion had warped the way it looked.

“So if you actually look at how the light has changed over time in each of those four images, it is exactly the same origin, so it has to be the same event,” Dr Tucker said. “The lead author Dr Patrick Kelly (of California) was actually looking through a set of images for an entirely different purpose and thought, ‘this looks a little funny’, and then consulted the rest of us.

“And we thought that it could be something that researchers have been looking for because [Albert] Einstein had predicted this impact on light and astronomers had spent decades trying to find something like this.”

Dr Tucker said the four images of the same event would allow scientists to probe how much mysterious dark matter there was in the universe.

“Dark matter is not uniform, it isn’t nicely spread across the universe,” Dr Tucker said. “There’s clumpy bits in some areas and none in other spots, so this allows us to look closely at the structure of dark matter.”

He said the set of four explosion images would probably appear even more times, and may be witnessed in another part of the sky in the next year or so.

“This delay is actually due to the shape and size of the universe, and the best way to think of it is a bunch of trains which all leave at the same time but take different routes, around mountains and so on, so they will arrive at different times,” Dr Tucker said.

The research has been published in Science journal as part of the celebrations to mark 100 years since Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was released.


The Kernel

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