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The mystery of the dark Universe

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The ring of dark matter
This Hubble Space Telescope composite image shows a ghostly "ring" of dark matter in the galaxy cluster ZwCl0024+1652.

The ring-like structure is evident in the blue map of the cluster's dark matter distribution. The map is superimposed on a Hubble image of the cluster. The ring is one of the strongest pieces of evidence to date for the existence of dark matter, an unknown substance that pervades the universe.

Astronomers suggest that the dark-matter ring was produced from a collision between two gigantic clusters.

Dark matter makes up the bulk of the universe's material and is believed to make up the underlying structure of the cosmos.

The Hubble observations were taken in November 2004 by the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Thanks its exquisite resolution, astronomers saw the detailed cobweb tracery of gravitational lensing in the cluster.

Credits: NASA, ESA, M. Jee and H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University)
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