Scientists were amazed to find that huge baby galaxies were being swallowed up by a "knot" of dark matter.
Scientists have made an amazing discovery: a huge knot of giant galaxies from the beginning of our universe completely surrounded by a large amount of dark matter.
Scientists have long suspected that the universe has a massive dark matter web that threads between our galaxies based on the gravitational influence on space-time we can witness, leading them to believe dark matter accounts for 85 percent of all known mass in the universe, according to a Discovery News report.
Now, scientists are trying to understand how this dark matter web influenced the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang created the universe. And they may have stumbled upon an important clue after finding a huge cluster of starburst galaxies of incredible size. These galaxies date back 11.5 billion years ago, not too long after the Big Bang.
Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope to make their observations, which is difficult to do as starburst galaxies from early in the universe have large quantities of obscuring dust. However, their tremendous submillimeter emissions allows ALMA to observe them.
The researchers were able to measure teh distance of nine of the massive galaxies in one small patch of sky, comparing their locations with observations made elsewhere with other telescopes to determine the gravitational location of a huge intersection of dark matter.
It’s an important finding that helps scientists better understand how the huge galaxies formed at the beginning of the universe and how much dark matter is involved, which could help us better understand dark matter in general and what role it plays in our universe, particularly at the beginning as galaxies evolved.