A new map of dark matter

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Lensing Survey (CFHTLenS) has recently announced the results of an analysis of five years of observations of 10 million galaxies. The survey covered four different patches of sky, each about 1° by 1°. As the light from these galaxies travelled towards the 340 Megapixel camera employed by CFHT it was bent by the gravitational effects of dark matter. And that gravitational lensing allowed CFHTLenS to generate the largest dark matter map of the universe to date. Check out the image below. It’s amazing.

A map of dark matter generated by CFHTLenS

Dark matter in the universe is distributed in dense clumps (white regions in this image) and empty voids (dark regions in this image). To get an idea of scale, the largest white region is about the size of Earth's full Moon in the sky.
Credit: Van Waerbeke, Heymans, CFHTLenS Collaboration