MSU Events Calendar
Through a Lens Darkly: Testing Dark Matter with the Hubble Space Telescope
Professor Megan Donahue describes her show: Dark matter, matter that seems to have a gravitational pull, but which we cannot see directly, remains one of the greatest puzzles in our understanding of the universe. Gravitational lensing, the bending of light by mass, is one of the ways in which we can detect this mysterious matter. I will describe an on-going, multi-year program by MSU astronomers, collaborating with astronomers from the Space Telescope Science Institute and around the world, to provide the world's best measurements of dark matter in a sample of 25 extremely massive clusters of galaxies. We use the Hubble space Telescope to provide full-color images of the gravitational lensing of galaxies behind these clusters. We use other telescopes, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and radio telescopes, to provide independent measurements of the dark matter. With these observations, we will test theoretical predictions about where and how dark matter and normal matter pile up in the universe.more information...