Scientists to map mysterious dark matter with new Nasa telescope

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A new Nasa telescope coming this yr will assist UK scientists seek for dark matter, the unusual substance that makes up the overwhelming majority of the universe however has by no means been immediately detected.

Scientists from Durham University are amongst a group of fifty researchers from around the globe collaborating within the Cosmos-Webb programme, which is able to survey a patch of sky close to the constellation Sextans.

They will use Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), essentially the most highly effective house telescope ever constructed, which is scheduled for launch in October and can turn into the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The cosmologists will work to map the dark matter round galaxies, with the goal of unlocking the secrets and techniques of the mysterious substance that makes up the overwhelming majority of matter within the universe.

Experts imagine that because the universe started to develop, galaxies shaped and grew when gasoline cooled and condensed on the centre of huge clumps of this dark matter.

While scientists have noticed the gravitational results of dark matter for many years, its true nature nonetheless stays a thriller.

“Dark matter is invisible”, Professor Richard Massey, Royal Society University Research Fellow, of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University, said, “however on this similar patch of sky, we used the Hubble Space Telescope to make the primary 3D map of dark matter, by noticing the way it impacts all of the seen issues round it.

“Now the JWST will zoom in on individual clumps of dark matter with unprecedented resolution.”

The professor added that one of many fundamental objectives of the programme is to hint the connection between dark matter and galaxies farther again in time, from the Big Bang almost 14 billion years in the past to the current day.

The JWST, which took 15 years to develop at a value of round 10 billion US {dollars} (£7.25 billion), is anticipated to launch on the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana on October 31.

It is known as after James Edwin Webb, the second administrator of Nasa.

The JWST is the biggest house observatory ever constructed, with an enormous sunshield base that measures 22m by 12m – in regards to the dimension of a tennis court docket.

Its infrared telescope will take a look at objects greater than 13 billion gentle years away.

As it takes an unlimited period of time for gentle to journey throughout the universe, the JWST will successfully be objects 13.6 billion years in the past, round 100 million years after the Big Bang – when the primary stars and galaxies began to kind.

After launching into house, the JWST will orbit the solar, flying up to 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.

This vacation spot is a gravitational “sweet-spot” often known as Lagrange Point, the place spacecraft can keep their place, making comparatively few orbital corrections and protect gasoline.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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