Gate of Eternity

The Gate of Eternity is the pathway from this normal Earth/Universe matter into the so called Dark Matter/Energy universe. At the moment of your death, your body remains on earth and returns to the elements from which it came. Your Soul enters into the another Realm, for better or for worse.

1 Dark Matter:

How do we know that dark matter isn’t just normal matter exhibiting strange gravity? A new observation of gravitationally magnified faint galaxies far in the distance behind a massive cluster of galaxies is shedding new dark on the subject. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope indicates that a huge ring of dark matter likely exists surrounding the center of CL0024+17 that has no normal matter counterpart.

What is visible in the above image, first and foremost, are many spectacular galaxies that are part of CL0024+17 itself, typically appearing tan in color. Next, a close inspection of the cluster center shows several unusual and repeated galaxy shapes, typically more blue. These are multiple images of a few distant galaxies, showing that the cluster is a strong gravitational lens. The relatively weak distortions of the many distant faint blue galaxies all over the image, however, indicates the existence of the dark matter ring. The computationally modeled dark matter ring spans about five million light years and has been digitally superimposed to the image in diffuse blue.

A hypothesis for the formation of the huge dark matter ring holds that it is a transient feature formed when galaxy cluster CL0024+17 collided with another cluster of galaxies about one billion years ago, leaving a ring similar to when a rock is thrown in a pond.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. J. Jee and H. Ford et al. (Johns Hopkins Univ.)

Last Updated: Aug 7, 2017

Editor: NASA Content Administrator

Tags:  Dark Energy and Dark Matter, Hubble Space Telescope, Universe

2 Dark Matter:

An astronomy team led by Dan Coe, formerly of JPL, has created one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe.

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of a giant cosmic magnifying glass to create one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe. Dark matter is an invisible and unknown substance that makes up the bulk of the universe’s mass. Astronomer Dan Coe led the research while working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.; he is currently with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.

The astronomers used Hubble to chart the invisible matter in the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1689, located 2.2 billion light-years away. The cluster’s gravity, the majority of which comes from dark matter, acts like a cosmic magnifying glass, bending and amplifying the light from distant galaxies behind it. This effect, called gravitational lensing, produces multiple, warped, and greatly magnified images of those galaxies, like the view in a funhouse mirror. By studying the distorted images, astronomers estimated the amount of dark matter within the cluster.

The new dark matter observations may yield new insights into the role of dark energy in the universe’s early formative years. A mysterious property of space, dark energy fights against the gravitational pull of dark matter. The new results suggest that galaxy clusters may have formed earlier than expected, before the push of dark energy inhibited their growth. Dark energy pushes galaxies apart from one another by stretching the space between them, suppressing the formation of giant structures called galaxy clusters. One way astronomers can probe this primeval tug-of-war is by mapping the distribution of dark matter in clusters.

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3 Dark Matter:

Dark Matter in a Simulated Universe
Illustration Credit & Copyright Tom Abel & Ralf Kaehler (KIPAC, SLAC), AMNH

Explanation: Is our universe haunted? It might look that way on this dark matter map. The gravity of unseen dark matter is the leading explanation for why galaxies rotate so fast, why galaxies orbit clusters so fast, why gravitational lenses so strongly deflect light, and why visible matter is distributed as it is both in the local universe and on the cosmic microwave background. The featured image from the American Museum of Natural History�s Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe highlights one example of how pervasive dark matter might haunt our universe. In this frame from a detailed computer simulation, complex filaments of dark matter, shown in black, are strewn about the universe like spider webs, while the relatively rare clumps of familiar baryonic matter are colored orange. These simulations are good statistical matches to astronomical observations. In what is perhaps a scarier turn of events, dark matter — although quite strange and in an unknown form — is no longer thought to be the strangest source of gravity in the universe. That honor now falls to dark energy, a more uniform source of repulsive gravity that seems to now dominate the expansion of the entire universe.

4 Dark Matter:

Dark Matter Map
Credit: J.-P. Kneib (Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees, Caltech) et al., ESA, NASA

Explanation: The total mass within giant galaxy cluster CL0025+1654, about 4.5 billion light-years away, produces a cosmic gravitational lens — bending light as predicted by Einstein’s theory of gravity and forming detectable images of even more distant background galaxies. Of course, the total cluster mass is the sum of the galaxies themselves, seen as ordinary luminous matter, plus the cluster’s invisible dark matter whose nature remains unknown. But by analyzing the distribution of luminous matter and the properties of the gravitational lensing due to total cluster mass, researchers have solved the problem of tracing the dark matter layout. Their resulting map shows the otherwise invisible dark matter in blue, and the positions of the cluster galaxies in yellow. The work, based on extensive Hubble Space Telescope observations, reveals that the cluster’s dark matter is not evenly distributed, but follows the clumps of luminous matter closely.

5 Dark Matter:

NGC 4650A: Strange Galaxy and Dark Matter
Credit: Very Large Telescope Project, ESO

Explanation: This strangely distorted galaxy of stars is cataloged as NGC 4650A. It lies about 165 million light-years away in the southern constellation Centaurus. The complex system seems to have at least two parts, a flattened disk of stars with a dense, bright, central core and a sparse, sharply tilted ring of gas, dust and stars. Observations show that the stars in the disk and the stars and gas in the ring really do move in two different, nearly perpendicular planes, probably as the result of a past galaxy vs. galaxy collision. The observed motions within both disk and ring also indicate the <=”” a=””>presence of “dark matter” – an unseen source of gravity which influences the movement of this system’s visible stars. Over the decades evidence that our Universe is largely composed of such dark matter has grown while the nature of dark matter has remained a profound astrophysical mystery. The picture was constructed from images made using part of the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) new Very Large Telescope system now undergoing its testing phase.

6 & 7 Dark Matter:


Although the evidence for dark matter is wide and deep, it is nevertheless indirect, and is based on the assumption that the laws of motion and gravity as formulated by Newton and expanded by Einstein apply. An alternative possibility is that a modification of gravity can explain the effects attributed to dark matter. The basic idea is that at very low accelerations, corresponding to large distances, the usual law of gravitation is modified.

The most studied of these modifications is called Modified Newtonian Dynamics, or MOND. According to this hypothesis, the force of gravity falls off more slowly at low accelerations (inversely as the distance rather than inversely as the square of the distance). With this prescription, less mass is required to explain the observed rotation of the outer edges of galaxies or the pressure of the hot gas in clusters of galaxies than in the Newton-Einstein theory. By adjusting the parameters of the theory, the need for dark matter can be eliminated.

Although MOND has had some success in explaining observations of galaxies, it and other theories that involve modifying the law of gravity have been severely challenged by observations of the galaxy cluster 1E0657-56, a.k.a. the Bullet Cluster.

The accompanying image shows hot X-ray producing gas (pink), and optical light from stars in the cluster galaxies (orange and white). The X-ray observations show that the Bullet Cluster is composed of two large clusters of galaxies that are colliding at high speeds.

Using the gravitational lensing technique, astronomers have deduced that the total mass concentration in the clusters (blue) is separate from that of the hot gas. This separation was presumably produced by the high-speed collision in which the gas particles collided with each other, while the stars and dark matter were unaffected. It cannot be explained by an altered law of gravity centered on the hot gas particles, and provided direct evidence that most of the matter in the Bullet Cluster is dark matter. Although such violent collisions between clusters are rare, another one (MACS J0025.4-122) shows the same effect.

8 Dark Matter:

This image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows the inner region of Abell 1689, an immense cluster of galaxies located 2.2 billion light-years away. The cluster’s gravitational field is warping light from background galaxies, causing them to appear as arcs. The effect is similar to what happens when you look into a fun house mirror.

Dark matter in the cluster, which represents about 80 percent of its mass, is mapped by plotting these arcs. Dark matter cannot be photographed, but its distribution is shown in the blue overlay. The dark matter distribution is then used to better understand the nature of dark energy, a pressure that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

The natural-color photo was taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Yale/CNRS

Last Updated: Aug 7, 2017

Editor: NASA Content Administrator

Tags:  Dark Energy and Dark Matter, Galaxies, Hubble Space Telescope, Universe

9 Dark Matter:

As the holiday season approaches, people in the northern hemisphere will gather indoors to stay warm. In keeping with the season, astronomers have studied two groups of galaxies that are rushing together and producing their own warmth.

The majority of galaxies do not exist in isolation. Rather, they are bound to other galaxies through gravity either in relatively small numbers known as “galaxy groups,” or much larger concentrations called “galaxy clusters” consisting of hundreds or thousands of galaxies. Sometimes, these collections of galaxies are drawn toward one another by gravity and eventually merge.

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), and optical observations with the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, a team of astronomers has found that two galaxy groups are smashing into each other at a remarkable speed of about 4 million miles per hour. This could be the most violent collision yet seen between two galaxy groups.

The system is called NGC 6338, which is located about 380 million light-years from Earth.  This composite image contains X-ray data from Chandra (displayed in red) that shows hot gas with temperatures upward of about 20 million degrees Celsius, as well as cooler gas detected with Chandra and XMM (shown in blue) that also emits X-rays. The Chandra data have been combined with optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, showing the galaxies and stars in white.

The researchers estimate that the total mass contained in NGC 6338 is about 100 trillion times the mass of the Sun. This significant heft, roughly 83% of which is in the form of dark matter, 16% is in the form of hot gas, and 1% in stars, indicates that the galaxy groups are destined to become a galaxy cluster in the future. The collision and merger will complete, and the system will continue to accumulate more galaxies through gravity.

Previous studies of NGC 6338 have provided evidence for the regions of cooler, X-ray emitting gas around the centers of the two galaxy groups (known as “cool cores”). This information has helped astronomers to reconstruct the geometry of the system, revealing that the collision between the galaxy groups happened almost along the line of sight to Earth. This finding has been confirmed with the new study.

The new Chandra and XMM-Newton data also show that the gas to the left and right of the cool cores, and in between them, appears to have been heated by shock fronts — similar to the sonic booms created by supersonic aircraft — formed by the collision of the two galaxy groups. This pattern of shock-heated gas has been predicted by computer simulations, but NGC 6338 may be the first merger of galaxy groups to clearly show it. Such heating will prevent some of the hot gas from cooling down to form new stars.

A second source of heat commonly found in groups and clusters of galaxies is energy provided by outbursts and jets of high-speed particles generated by supermassive black holes. Currently this source of heat appears to be inactive in NGC 6338 because there is no evidence for jets from supermassive black holes using radio data from the GMRT. This absence may explain the filaments of cooling gas detected in X-ray and optical data around the large galaxy in the center of the cool core in the south. The filters used in the composite image do not show the optical filaments, and the X-ray filaments are the small, finger-like structures emanating from the center of the cool core in the south, at approximately 2 o’clock, 7 o’clock and 8’o’clock.

A paper describing these results was published in the September 2019 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online. The first author is Ewan O’Sullivan of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the co-authors are Gerrit Schellenberger (CfA), Doug Burke (CfA), Ming Sun (University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama), Jan Vrtilek (CfA), Larry David (CfA) and Craig Sarazin (University of Virginia, Virginia).

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge and Burlington, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Image credit: X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/SAO/E. O’Sullivan; XMM: ESA/XMM/E. O’Sullivan; Optical: SDSS

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Last Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Editor: Lee Mohon

10 & 11 Dark Matter:


Dec 20, 2018

Faint Glow Within Galaxy Clusters Illuminates Dark Matter

A new look at Hubble images of galaxies could be a step toward illuminating the elusive nature of dark matter, the unobservable material that makes up the majority of the universe, according to a study published online today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Utilizing Hubble’s past observations of six massive galaxy clusters in the Frontier Fields program, astronomers demonstrated that intracluster light — the diffuse glow between galaxies in a cluster — traces the path of dark matter, illuminating its distribution more accurately than existing methods that observe X-ray light.

Hubble’s powerful sensitivity and resolution captures a soft blue haze, called intracluster light, among innumerable galaxies in the Abell S1063 cluster. The stars producing this glow have been thrown out from their galaxies. These stars now live solitary lives, no longer part of a galaxy but aligning themselves with the gravity of the overall cluster. Astronomers have found that intracluster light’s association with a map of mass distribution in the cluster’s overall gravitational field makes it a good indicator of how invisible dark matter is distributed in the cluster.

Credits: NASA, ESA and M. Montes (University of New South Wales)

Intracluster light is the byproduct of interactions between galaxies that disrupt their structures; in the chaos, individual stars are thrown free of their gravitational moorings in their home galaxy to realign themselves with the gravity map of the overall cluster. This is also where the vast majority of dark matter resides. X-ray light indicates where groups of galaxies are colliding, but not the underlying structure of the cluster. This makes it a less precise tracer of dark matter.

“The reason that intracluster light is such an excellent tracer of dark matter in a galaxy cluster is that both the dark matter and these stars forming the intracluster light are free-floating on the gravitational potential of the cluster itself — so they are following exactly the same gravity,” said Mireia Montes of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who is co-author of the study. “We have found a new way to see the location where the dark matter should be, because you are tracing exactly the same gravitational potential. We can illuminate, with a very faint glow, the position of dark matter.”

Montes also highlights that not only is the method accurate, but it is more efficient in that it utilizes only deep imaging, rather than the more complex, time-intensive techniques of spectroscopy. This means more clusters and objects in space can be studied in less time — meaning more potential evidence of what dark matter consists of and how it behaves.

“This method puts us in the position to characterize, in a statistical way, the ultimate nature of dark matter,” Montes said.

Amid the bright light of its member galaxies, the galaxy cluster MACS J0416.1-2403 also emits a soft glow of intracluster light, produced by stars that are not part of any individual galaxy. These stars were scattered throughout the cluster long ago, when their home galaxies were torn apart by the cluster’s gravitational forces. The homeless stars eventually aligned themselves with the gravity of the overall cluster. Hubble’s unique sensitivity and resolution captures the faint light and uses it to trace the location of invisible dark matter, which dominates the cluster’s gravitational field.

Credits: NASA, ESA and M. Montes (University of New South Wales)

“The idea for the study was sparked while looking at the pristine Hubble Frontier Field images,” said study co-author Ignacio Trujillo of the Canary Islands Institute of Astronomy in Tenerife, Spain, who along with Montes had studied intracluster light for years. “The Hubble Frontier Fields showed intracluster light in unprecedented clarity. The images were inspiring,” Trujillo said. “Still, I did not expect the results to be so precise. The implications for future space-based research are very exciting.”

“The astronomers used the Modified Hausdorff Distance (MHD), a metric used in shape matching, to measure the similarities between the contours of the intracluster light and the contours of the different mass maps of the clusters, which are provided as part of the data from the Hubble Frontier Fields project, housed in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). The MHD is a measure of how far two subsets are from each other. The smaller the value of MHD, the more similar the two point sets are. This analysis showed that the intracluster light distribution seen in the Hubble Frontier Fields images matched the mass distribution of the six galaxy clusters better than did X-ray emission, as derived from archived observations from Chandra X-ray Observatory’s Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS).

Beyond this initial study, Montes and Trujillo see multiple opportunities to expand their research. To start, they would like to increase the radius of observation in the original six clusters, to see if the degree of tracing accuracy holds up. Another important test of their method will be observation and analysis of additional galaxy clusters by more research teams, to add to the data set and confirm their findings.

The astronomers also look forward to the application of the same techniques with future powerful space-based telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope and WFIRST, which will have even more sensitive instruments for resolving faint intracluster light in the distant universe.

Trujillo would like to test scaling down the method from massive galaxy clusters to single galaxies. “It would be fantastic to do this at galactic scales, for example exploring the stellar halos. In principal the same idea should work; the stars that surround the galaxy as a result of the merging activity should also be following the gravitational potential of the galaxy, illuminating the location and distribution of dark matter.”

The Hubble Frontier Fields program was a deep imaging initiative designed to utilize the natural magnifying glass of galaxy clusters’ gravity to see the extremely distant galaxies beyond them, and thereby gain insight into the early (distant) universe and the evolution of galaxies since that time. In that study the diffuse intracluster light was an annoyance, partially obscuring the distant galaxies beyond. However, that faint glow could end up shedding significant light on one of astronomy’s great mysteries: the nature of dark matter.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.

Leah Ramsay / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
667-218-6439 / 410-338-4514 /

Mireia Montes
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2018

Editor: Karl Hille

Dark Matter 12:

This is a project that I am still working on, so more photos and information will be added as time permits.


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