Category: colliding galaxy clusters

Scientists Discover Space’s Largest Inte…

Scientists Discover Space’s Largest Intergalactic Bridge, Solving A Huge Dark Matter Puzzle

“Lo and behold, these shocks are some of the first things you notice if you look at the Chandra images of the Bullet cluster on their own! The fact that we’ve identified relativistic charged particles in the presence of a large-scale magnetic field in one pair of colliding clusters is strongly suggestive of the same effects existing in other clusters. If this same type of structure that exists between Abell 0399 and Abell 0401 also exists between other colliding clusters, it could solve this minor anomaly of the Bullet cluster, leaving dark matter as the sole unchallenged explanation for the displacement of gravitational effects from the presence of normal matter.

It’s always an enormous step forward when we can identify a new phenomenon. But by combining theory, simulations, and the observations of other colliding galaxy clusters, we can push the needle forward when it comes to understanding our Universe as a whole. It’s another spectacular victory for dark matter, and another mystery of the Universe that might finally be solved by modern astrophysics. What a time to be alive.”

When two galaxy clusters collide, the normal matter heats up and emits X-rays, experiencing shocks and separating from the gravitational effects of the clusters they originated from. But as compelling as this evidence is for dark matter, a few of the colliding clusters we’ve found, such as the original (the Bullet cluster), appear to be moving faster than theory predicts. Either dark matter is incomplete, our observations were wrong, or something else is working besides gravity to accelerate the matter.

Guess what? We’ve just found something else between galaxy clusters that accelerates matter: enormous magnetic fields and relativistic electrons! Come get the full story here, and learn what it means and why!