Even as some studies in the worldwide astrophysics community are today challenging the hypothesis speculating the existence of dark matter, a group of Canadian researchers has claimed that they successfully developed a composite image of the elusive substance.

For the uninitiated, dark matter, just like the moniker suggests, is a mysterious form of matter that is mathematically derived to constitute 25% of the known Universe and more than 80% of galaxies. The most credible evidence supporting its presence in the cosmos is its gravitational effect. Because dark matter does not reflect any light, its existence can not be visually confirmed.

Dark matter pictured

However, researchers from the University of Waterloo have their own way to deal with that problem. They claim to have developed the ability to trace out the existence of dark matter using a method called weak gravitational lensing.

The captured image, as you can see, shows what an imaginative person would probably call a ghost-like object.

Weak gravitational lensing relies upon an intrinsic property of the cosmos that causes light to bend in the presence of massive structure, i.e. object with immense gravitational influence.

“For decades, researchers have been predicting the existence of dark matter filaments between galaxies that act like a web-like superstructure connecting galaxies together,” said Mike Hudson, one of the researchers at the University of Waterloo.

Hudson and his co-author in the study developed the composite map or image from more than 23,000 galaxy pairs located as much as 4.5 billion light years away. You can see a bright-like shape connective different galaxies in the picture. According to the researchers, this established dark matter’s extensive interaction with galaxies.

You can find the details of the study in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


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