We're just knocking these grand mysteries of the universe down this
week. Following up on the Higgs boson discovery, scientists might have
uncovered yet another huge space mystery: the ever elusive thing that holds the universe together known as 'Dark Matter'.
Experts believe this stuff comprises the majority of the universe, but they've never actually seen it (hence, DARK matter), Instead, they've been relying on its effects through gravitational distortions on visible matter and radiation at large scales. In theory, this meant dark matter played an important role in maintaining the structure of galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
It was only recently that researchers found for the first time what they describe as a "filament" or "bridge" of dark matter connecting two clusters of galaxies 2.7 billion light-years away.
They did this by using telescope data from on observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii which analyzed 40,000 galaxies behind Abell 223 and 222. This led to the discovery of distortions in space time, hinting at a long bridge of dark matter connecting the two clusters. This could be the first observable proof of a grand invisible web that holds this whole space shebang together:
"I have to say the evidence is pretty strong," commented theoretical astrophysicist Manoj Kaplinghat, who was not involved in the study to The Boston Herald. "There have been other claims that have sort of gone away, but this one looks like the best one I've seen. As far as I can tell, this really is the first."
Feels sort of good to know that these planets aren't just aimlessly floating in space, or being "manipulated" by some invisible man in the sky. Wonder what else science is going to discover next?