Astronomers spot dark matter creating eerie clones of a distant galaxy -
Oct 18, 2021 1 min, 43 secs

The cosmic triplets were formed by the warping of light around a gigantic, unknown mass.

Astronomers have finally explained  three perfectly identical galaxies in the deepest recesses of space — the cosmic triplets are actually just one galaxy, but its image has been multiplied by dark matter.

While analyzing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Hamilton found two identical galaxies, one the mirror-image of the other, sitting right next to each other in space.

The mystery only deepened when Hamilton spotted a third galaxy — not far above them — that was identical to the other two galaxies.

But the gravity of a huge concentration of dark matter is bending the light from the distant source into three images. .

Einstein explained the idea that gravity isn't produced by an unseen force, but is simply our experience of space-time curving and distorting in the presence of matter and energy. .

In the case of these galactic triplets, light traveling through an extremely curved region of space-time travels in a curve — warping and twisting through a gigantic funhouse mirror until it emerges at three exit points as three perfect copies.

By looking at the region of space close to the images, the researchers were able to identify the culprit behind the unusual lensing effect: a dense blob of dark matter belonging to a cluster of galaxies 7 billion light-years away from Earth, and situated between Earth and the galaxy whose light was being bent.

Using a specially designed computer program, the physicists calculated the distribution of this dark matter by studying how it had stretched the three images of the galaxy.

They concluded that for the images to appear as they do now, the dark matter would need to be "smoothly" distributed across the light-bending galactic cluster — a result that not only helps them to explain the images, but also gives them a fresh insight into how dark matter may be dispersed throughout the universe.

"We know it's [dark matter is] some form of matter, but we have no idea what the constituent particle is.

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