Dark glow

Published: Tuesday 15 November 1994

Visible celestial bodies account only for about 10 per cent of the total mass of the universe. Astronomers scouring the heavens for the remaining invisible "dark matter" may have now spotted some of it in the form of a halo in a faraway spiral galaxy (Science, Vol 265, No 5175).

Astronomer Penny Sacket and her colleagues at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton report that the halo was obtained after using computers to subtract the light from the galaxy and other stars; its shape matched the expected spread of the galaxy's dark matter.

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