Large scale structure of dark matter

This shows the distribution of dark matter in the Universe. The brightness of clumps corresponds to the density of mass. The map covers an area of sky nine times the angular diameter of the full Moon, and is the largest sample of the distribution of dark matter ever obtained. It demonstrates how normal matter - including stars, galaxies and gas - is built inside an underlying scaffolding of dark matter. The comparison of dark matter and normal matter will provide critical observational underpinnings to future theories for how structure formed in the evolving Universe under the relentless pull of gravity.

The map was derived from the Hubble Space Telescope's largest ever survey of the Universe, the Cosmic Evolution Survey ("COSMOS"), carried out by an international team of 70 astronomers. In making the COSMOS survey, Hubble photographed 575 adjacent and slightly overlapping views of the universe using theAdvanced Camera for Surveys' (ACS) Wide Field Camera onboard Hubble. It took nearly 1,000 hours of observations. The distances to the galaxies were determined from their spectral redshifts, using ESO's Very Large Telescope, the Subaru and CFHT telescopes in Hawaii and the Magellan telescope in Chile.


NASA, ESA and R. Massey (California Institute of Technology)

About the Image

Release date:7 January 2007, 19:30
Related releases:heic0701
Size:1405 x 1362 px

About the Object

Type:• Early Universe : Nebula : Appearance : Dark
• Early Universe : Cosmology : Morphology : Large-Scale Structure
• X - Cosmology Images/Videos

Image Formats

Large JPEG
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98.7 KB



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