Courtesy Volker Springel and the Millennium Simulation group - A computer simulation of the distribution of "dark" matter at an early point in the history of the universe. The observations by Cornell’s Duncan Farrah and colleagues provide solid evidence that galaxies in the distant past trace this matter distribution very well and that these galaxies will eventually reside in extremely rich clusters of galaxies at the current epoch.
Try mixing caramel into vanilla ice cream -- you will always end up with globs and swirls of caramel. Scientists are finding that galaxies may distribute themselves in similar ways throughout the universe and in places where there is lots of so-called dark matter.
"Our findings suggest that unseen dark matter -- which emits no light but has mass -- has had a major effect on the formation and evolution of galaxies, and that bright active galaxies are only born within dark matter clumps of a certain size in the young universe," said Cornell University research associate Duncan Farrah, the lead author of a paper on spatial clustering that appeared in the April 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
To investigate the spatial distribution of galaxies, Farrah used data that recently became available from the Spitzer Wide-area InfraRed Extragalactic (SWIRE) survey, one of the largest such surveys performed by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which was launched in 2003.
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