Revealing dark matter secrets of cluster galaxies using gravitational lensing
Galaxy clusters are the largest structures observable in the universe and can contain hundreds or thousands of galaxies. Most of the mass of a galaxy cluster, and what really keeps it gravitationally bound, does not come from the stars but from dark matter. The EU-funded MARACHAS project will use the gravitational lensing effect to answer fundamental questions on the evolution of dark matter components that make up the majority of galaxy clusters. In particular, it will be used to study how sub-halos – a subset of dark matter halos that extend well beyond the edge of the visible galaxy components – lose mass during their evolution in galaxy clusters.