Most of the mass in the universe consists of something that none of us have seen. It is called "dark matter" and, although incredibly rich, it is also extremely difficult to study. Decennial calculations have suggested that there is more dark matter around the younger galaxies of the ancient ones from the early days of the universe, but then where does the dark matter that we see today come from? A new study offers a response.
Past research has shown that the galaxies we see in the vicinity have more dark matter than those that are very distant. The outer galaxy is farther back in time we effectively see, and scientists believe that these ancient galaxies do not have so much dark matter around them. As it turns out, this is not the case.
After studying about 1,500 galaxies, researchers led by Alfred Tayli of the University of Durham found that the amount of dark matter around these huge collections of stars and planets is the same as ever.
The discovery of the dark matter around the galaxy may be tricky, but it is facilitated by calculating the gravitational effect the object has on its environment. We can not see the dark matter in the universe because it does not reflect the light, but it still performs a gravitational pull, just like the "normal" matter. By calculating the size of the galaxy and the speed at which the stars move at its edges, scientists can calculate how much dark matter is lurking at the edge.
This last round of research, applied the same formula to several hundred galaxies and young and old. Scientists now believe there is no big difference between the amount of dark matter around the ancient galaxies when compared to many younger ones.
However, like Science Live reports, the astronomical community is not entirely on the road with this new finding. The model used by Tiley and his team is questioned, especially as it relates to the measurements of distant galaxies of high mass that have been studied by others seeking dark matter.
We will have to wait and see how it all opens, but the results are certainly interesting and undoubtedly will continue discussions about where the dark matter of the universe lies.