We present new weak-lensing observations of 1E 0657-558 (z=0.296), a unique cluster merger, that enable a direct detection of dark matter, independent of assumptions regarding the nature of the gravitational force law. Due to the collision of two clusters, the dissipationless stellar component and the fluid-like X-ray-emitting plasma are spatially segregated. By using both wide-field ground-based images and HST/ACS images of the cluster cores, we create gravitational lensing maps showing that the gravitational potential does not trace the plasma distribution, the dominant baryonic mass component, but rather approximately traces the distribution of galaxies. An 8 σ significance spatial offset of the center of the total mass from the center of the baryonic mass peaks cannot be explained with an alteration of the gravitational force law and thus proves that the majority of the matter in the system is unseen.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, under program 10200, with the 6.5 m Magellan telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, with the ESO telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under program IDs 72.A-0511, 60.A-9203, and 64.O-0332, and with the NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory under contract to NASA.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- September 2006
- Cosmology: Dark Matter;
- galaxies: clusters: individual (1E 0657-558);
- Cosmology: Gravitational Lensing;
- Accepted for publication in ApJL