James Webb discovered the oldest dark matter in the Universe

Researchers have just studied the gravitational lensing of the oldest light we can see. The oldest dark matter that surrounds galaxies at the age of 12 billion years was discovered in it. Dark matter was observed when observing how some galaxies distort the light of the cosmic microwave background, which occurred immediately after the Big Bang.

An artistic representation of the remnants of the Big Bang radiation, disfigured by dark matter 12 billion years ago. Image: Eurekalert

When the James Webb Telescope recently took the famous image of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster, it was actually looking at ancient galaxies that had been enlarged by SMACS 0723, including the oldest galaxy we’ve seen formed just 300 million years after the Big Bang. The team found that dark matter in these most remote regions of space turned out to be less complex than it should correspond to the standard theory of cosmology.

A small part of the SMACS 0723 deep field is the first image published by James Webb showing hundreds of galaxies. Source: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI

“Our discovery of the past still remains uncertain. If the data is confirmed, it means that the whole model of the cosmological model has flaws. This will force scientists to refine existing models to improve our understanding of the nature of dark matter,” said Hironao Miyatake, an astronomer at Nagoya University.

The Hubble image in visible light (left) and with a blue filter (right) shows gravitational lensing and the approximate location of dark matter. Image: NASA 

What is black matter?

Dark matter makes up about 27% of the Universe. It is impossible to detect it directly, because it is not fixed in any of the spectra. It manifests itself only in gravitational interaction with ordinary matter on a galactic scale. Scientists do not know what dark matter is. Therefore, dark matter is actually a universal term for this unaccounted-for mass.

There are some candidates for the role of dark matter: elementary particles called wimps (WIMP, or weakly interacting massive particles) and even smaller particles called axions. It is quite possible that both wimps and axions make up dark matter. The search for dark matter continues, but at this time astronomers can look and see its influence on a huge scale. Dark matter acts as a kind of invisible glue that holds together a cluster of galaxies. It also acts as a lens for more distant light, magnifying ancient objects for our observation. Although dark matter is a mystery, it also helps scientists study the early universe.

Earlier we reported on how the alternative theory of gravity has questioned dark matter.

According to Eurekalert

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