The First Picture of Dark Matter? Oh Sheezy? Srsly?

I always thought that dark matter was something that was made up. Like, some astrophysicist had a bad day, realized every equation they were working on was broken, and used something from a copy of Fantastic Four to fix everything. DARK MATTER. But I don’t know anything. I’m not an astrophysicist, I can’t even do math. Though I can read comic books. So, so well.

Well, apparently, NASA has taken a picture that gives us a glimpse at dark matter? Maybe?

Nasa via io9:

In their new study, the science team used images from Hubble to examine a massive cluster of galaxies, named Abell 1689, which acts as a magnifying, or gravitational, lens. The gravity of the cluster causes galaxies behind it to be imaged multiple times into distorted shapes, sort of like a fun-house mirror reflection that warps your face.

Using these distorted images, the scientists were able to figure out how light from the more distant, background galaxies had been bent by the cluster – a characteristic that depends on the nature of dark energy. Their method also depends on precise ground-based measurements of the distance and speed at which the background galaxies are traveling away from us. The team used these data to quantify the strength of the dark energy that is causing our universe to accelerate.

I have no idea if this is real or fluff, okay? I don’t possess the knowledge base to analyze the commentary, but I know it pretty much amounts to “Pretty cool theory may actually not be full of shit. May actually still be full of shit, though.” It sounds fun and the picture is pretty though! So there’s that!