“Unknown Dark Object” –Burst an Enormous Hole in the Milky Way (2019 Most Popular)

ESA Black Hole Image


An enormous “something” more massive than a star, appears to have torn a hole in part of the Milky Way’s halo. The “dark substructure” was found in data from Gaia spacecraft observations—a mission producing the most detailed 3D map of our galaxy—with Harvard’s Ana Bonaca noticing a perturbation in a tidal stream. Bonaca is a leading authority on how the tidal field of the Milky Way galaxy disrupts globular clusters, and what the resulting debris can tell us about the underlying distribution of dark matter. (more…)

“A Message From the Phantom Cosmos?”

Milky Way Galaxy


Did NASA scientists detect a dark matter signal from deep inside the Milky Way? In December of 2017, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory observed a strange and distinctive X-ray signal from deep inside the dynamic center of the Milky Way, the 3.5 keV line, that researchers believed could help them in proving the existence of the hidden, dark side of our universe.


Ancient Galaxy Clusters –“Dark Skeletons at Dawn of the Universe”

Galaxy Protocluster


The discovery of a ancient cluster of galaxies at the dawn of the cosmos, the most distant ever found at 13.0 billion light years away, suggests that a large structure already existed at a time when the universe was only about 800 million years old or 6 percent of its present age. Finding a cluster this far away makes finding the needle in the haystack seem an easy task, but more importantly, it reveals “the dark skeleton of the universe.”


Strange Lightness of Dark Matter –“It May Be Older Than the Big Bang”

Dark Matter Web


“We do not know what dark matter is, but if it has anything to do with any scalar particles, it may be older than the Big Bang,” says astrophysicist Tommi Tenkanen at the Johns Hopkins University, who was not part of a new University of Tokyo study that proposes the axion as a candidate for dark matter.


Unveiling the Dark-Matter Universe –“Tracers from the First Galaxies”

Lost Hubble Frontier Image


The universe, perhaps surprisingly, is not comprised of galaxies randomly distributed throughout space; that is, it is not very homogeneous. Instead, its galaxies are clustered into distinct structures that harbor dark matter, typically gigantic filaments separated by vast voids—the “large-scale structure (LSS),” an architecture whose discovery and mappings were pioneered by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomers about thirty years ago.