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Astronomers see the invisible.

By observing a rare collision of galaxies, Marusa Bradac of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford, along with colleagues, have made the first direct detection of "dark matter" by exploiting one of its few visible effects: gravitational lensing. When the clusters collided, the volumes of gas were slowed by the impact, but the associated dark matter from each cluster presumably continued to speed along unimpeded. Comparisons of images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments, revealed that the clumps of hot, shocked gas from the collision were in a separate part of the sky from the greatest lensing, which was caused by the unseen dark matter.
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Title Annotation:NEWSWATCH; Marusa Bradac of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology's research on dark matter
Publication:Scientific Computing
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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