Scientists have finally discovered dark matter billions of years ago on Earth.
Researchers have been able to investigate the nature of the dark matter surrounding galaxies as it was 12 billion years ago. That’s billions of years earlier than we’ve been able to see before.
Scientists hope the paranormal findings will reveal the still-mysterious secrets of dark matter that is an important but largely unknown part of our universe.
It has already provided tantalizing clues about the history of our universe. The researchers say the findings suggest that the basic rules of the universe were different in its early times.
As its name suggests, scientists cannot see dark matter directly, because it does not emit light. Instead, scientists typically watch as light travels through the galaxies they want to explore, and measure how it travels — the more distorted it gets, the more dark matter it gets.
However, the more distant galaxies – which we see as they existed billions of years ago – are too faint for this technique to work. The distortion could not be detected properly and dark matter remained impossible to analyze.
That left scientists unable to search for dark matter over 10 billion years ago. The time before that and the beginning of the universe, 13.7 billion years ago, remained impossible to understand.
Scientists now say they have overcome this problem by using a different source: the microwaves emitted by the Big Bang. The team measured how these microwaves distorted rather than light, so they were able to see dark matter from the early universe, and look at galaxies soon after they formed.
“Most researchers use source galaxies to measure the distribution of dark matter from the present to eight billion years ago,” added Associate Professor Yuichi Harikan of the University of Tokyo’s Cosmic Ray Research Institute. However, we can look back further because we used the farthest CMB to measure dark matter. For the first time, we’ve been measuring dark matter from roughly the very first moments of the universe.”
The results revealed a host of surprises, including showing the way dark matter collects in the early universe. The theory suggests that dark matter should stick together and form clumps in the universe – but there was far less than expected.
“What we found is still uncertain,” said Hironao Miyatake of Nagoya University, who led the team. “But if true, it suggests that the entire model is flawed and you go back in time. This is exciting because if the result persists after uncertainties are reduced, it could indicate an improvement to the model that may provide insight into the nature of dark matter itself.”
An article describing the results was published in physical review messages.