Nature of dark matter revealed as scientists peer billions of years further than ever before | The Sun

SCIENTISTS have managed to detect dark matter from billions of years ago for the very first time.

The major step reveals the nature of dark matter surrounding galaxies from 12billion years ago.

That's billions of years more than we've ever seen before.

As if the huge achievement wasn't enough, initial findings are giving new clues about the history of our cosmos.

Experts think that the rules of the universe may differ when examining the early history of our universe.

Dark matter is tricky to study by its very nature.

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This leaves scientists with the difficult task of waiting for light to travel through galaxies and go from there.

The more distorted it becomes, the more dark matter must be present.

On top of all this, the finite speed of light makes it even harder for scientists to see something that happened so long ago.

To see further, a team of experts tried something different.

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They decided to look at a different source of background light.

Instead, they went for microwaves that were released by the Big Bang.

By looking at microwave distortions, they could peer much further back to see galaxies little after they are formed.

"Most researchers use source galaxies to measure dark matter distribution from the present to eight billion years ago", explained Assistant Professor Yuichi Harikane of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo.

Dark matter: The invisible material that makes up 27% of the universe

Dark matter is a material that scientists believe makes up almost a third of the known universe.

It has never been observed by scientists because it reflects no light, making it invisible.

Astronomers only know it exists because of its effects on other objects, such as the gravitational pull of galaxies.

According to the European Space Agency: 'Shine a torch in a completely dark room, and you will see only what the torch illuminates.

'That does not mean that the room around you does not exist.

'Similarly we know dark matter exists but have never observed it directly.'

Dark matter is thought to hold galaxies together, stopping the rapidly spinning objects from being torn apart by their own gravity.

It is closely linked to dark energy, another hypothetical substance, which is thought to make up 68% of the known universe.

Together, that means 95% of the universe is made up of dark energy or dark matter – meaning all but 5% of the cosmos cannot be explained by modern physics.

"However, we could look further back into the past because we used the more distant CMB to measure dark matter.

"For the first time, we were measuring dark matter from almost the earliest moments of the universe."

Hironao Miyatake from Nagoya University, added: "Our finding is still uncertain.

"But if it is true, it would suggest that the entire model is flawed as you go further back in time.

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"This is exciting because if the result holds after the uncertainties are reduced, it could suggest an improvement of the model that may provide insight into the nature of dark matter itself."

Their research was revealed in Physical Review Letters.

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