Dark matter is one of the most intriguing subjects in the Universe, even if it has puzzled scientists’ work for decades. However, as complicated as dark matter seems to be, that doesn’t mean we can’t use it to explore the Universe more.
A team of bold researchers developed a map of dark matter using artificial intelligence. What they discovered is genuinely intriguing.
Here is what you need to know.
Dark Matter Unveils Galaxy Secrets
Using the new map of dark matter, researchers found how some hidden filaments of the invisible stuff connecting galaxies. How cool is that?
The map features the local Universe – the area surrounding our galaxy – and even if it’s close, the region is challenging to map due to its complex structures of visible matter. So, how did the team do it?
The team’s approach was quite wild. However, as previously mentioned, things are never easier when it comes to dark matter.
Donghui Jeong is an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University and the lead author of the new study. He explained that it’s necessary “to reverse engineer to know where dark matter is by looking at galaxies.”
So, the team fed a machine-learning program with thousands of computer simulations of dark matter and visible matter in the local Universe. The result was a brand-new map of dark matter and its relationship to visible matter.
Researchers were also able to see how long filaments of dark matter bridge galaxies around the Milky Way to it and one another.
The new approach will support future work in the field
According to the team, the new dark matter map has a key role in understanding how galaxies will move in time. For instance, astronomers predict that the Andromeda galaxies and our galaxy will eventually crash into each other in approximately 4.5 billion years.
Getting to know local dark matter’s role in that bang could help figure out how and when that event will occur.