Scientists from Kyoto University and other research institutions have confirmed that the intrinsic alignments of galaxies are a powerful way to study dark matter and dark energy on a cosmological scale. By analyzing the positions and orientations of over a million galaxies, the team was able to gather evidence of the gravitational effects of dark matter on the distribution of galaxies tens of millions of light years away.
Scientists from Kyoto University have confirmed that the intrinsic alignments of galaxies are a powerful way to study dark matter and dark energy on a cosmological scale. By analyzing the positions and orientations of over a million galaxies, they gathered evidence of the gravitational effects of dark matter and confirmed general relativity at the distant universe.
The Hunt for Dark Matter and Energy in the Universe
Scientists from Kyoto University and other research institutions have been on a mission to study the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy in the universe. By analyzing the positions and orientations of over a million galaxies, they have discovered a new way to probe these elusive phenomena.
Discovering the Power of Galaxy Alignments
The team analyzed the archived data of 1.2 million galaxy observations obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. With the help of 3D positional information for each galaxy, the team was able to quantify the extent to which the orientation of distant galaxies was aligned.
Confirming General Relativity on a Cosmological Scale
The results of the team’s model were consistent with theoretical calculations and provided strong evidence that the orientations of these galaxies are related to each other, demonstrating a stronger case for general relativity on a cosmological scale. Lead author Atsushi Taruya of Kyoto University’s Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics states, “These alignments, which are primarily produced by interactions with nearby objects, have been regarded as systematic noise in measuring weak lensing effect.”
Testing General Theory of Gravity on Vast Spatial Scales
The team’s findings also confirmed the rate at which the galaxy distribution gradually becomes denser due to gravity, consistent with the general theory of relativity. However, the nature of dark energy or the origin of cosmic acceleration still remains unresolved.
The Future of Cosmological Research
“Current endeavors, such as the Subaru Telescope project, will provide extremely high-quality, high-precision observational data,” says Taruya. “These will spearhead innovative cosmological research using the intrinsic alignments to shed light on the nature of dark energy.”
The study of dark matter and dark energy is a crucial aspect of cosmological research, and the discovery of the intrinsic alignments of galaxies as a powerful probe will lead to new avenues of investigation. The results of the team’s study provide evidence for further exploration of general relativity on a cosmological scale and the nature of dark energy.
How can you contribute?
Individuals interested in contributing to cosmological research can participate in citizen science projects, such as the Galaxy Zoo project, which allows members of the public to classify galaxies based on their shapes and structures. There are also opportunities to contribute to the development of new digital tools, such as software and Python libraries, used in cosmological research.