The Top 12 of 2012
8. Weighing the Dark Matter in Galaxy Clusters with Hubble
Why it is important: The distribution of dark matter traces the formation of structure in the universe. Galaxy clusters represent some of the most massive dark matter groupings we can observe, and so determining how their mass is distributed lets us probe how the largest structures formed. Because such massive structures are rare, they can also be a powerful probe of cosmological models.
- This figure shows four strongly-lensing galaxy clusters in a sample of 25 which will be used to determine the dark matter distribution on small and large scales (tens of kiloparsecs to megaparsecs) in cluster haloes. In addition to testing models for the concentration of dark matter in haloes (see #6), this project will also yield samples of highly lensed z > 7 galaxies which probe the epoch of reionization (see #12). Finally, by spreading these observations over multiple epochs, this project will further constitute an effective search for z > 1 type Ia supernovae, which are important for understanding how dark energy evolved (see #2). (Figure 12 of Postman et al.)
Next: (#7) Putting a New Spin on Stellar Models: A New Treatment of Mass Loss and Rotation for Stellar EvolutionPrevious: (#9) Stars in Old Galaxies–They are NOT Just Like Us: The Masses of Stars at Birth May Depend on Environment
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