New data from the Hubble Telescope show that there is a discrepancy between the observed concentrations of dark matter in massive galaxy clusters and the computer models that describe them.
Dark matter practically does not interact with ordinary matter, so it is extremely difficult to detect it. We know about the existence of this substance from the data on the gravitational interaction within and between galaxies. The largest storehouses for dark matter are galaxy clusters. These objects are ideal for testing the models of the distribution of dark matter that physicists have built from the theories created.
In a new paper published in the journal Science, astronomers analyzed data on the distribution of dark matter in galaxy clusters. The researchers managed to obtain such measurements using the Hubble telescope. As a result, scientists were able to build a highly accurate map showing the concentration of the mysterious substance in various clusters of galaxies.
The scientists then compared the maps of dark matter to models that predicted the distribution of dark matter in clusters of galaxies with similar masses located at roughly the same distances. It turned out that computer models, even on a small scale, are not able to describe the real state of affairs.
This means that the existing theories describing the distribution of dark matter overlook some important effects that are observed in reality. The map of the distribution of dark matter constructed in the new work is by far the most accurate in the world, so scientists have no reason to doubt the unreliability of the data. Astronomers plan to collect more information so that it could then be used to make theoretical guesses about what is lacking in theories of dark matter.