So that’s what’s out there … Jason Palmer reports from the annual American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin for BBC News:
Researchers have released the biggest images yet detailing dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up three-quarters of the Universe’s mass.
Each image, a billion light-years across, shows vast dark matter clumps and voids scattered through the cosmos.
The team from the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope inferred the dark matter’s existence by the way it bends light.
The images were presented at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, US.
The four images were taken at four different seasons of the year, each capturing a swath of the sky about as large as a palm held at arm’s length.
They are a big step forward in understanding both dark matter itself, and the means by which dark matter influences the way normal matter clumps into the galaxies we see in the night skies.