The first results have been released from a major new dark matter survey of the southern skies using ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
The project, known as the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS), uses imaging from the VST and its huge camera, OmegaCAM to analyze images of over two million galaxies. The KiDS team studied the distortion of light emitted from these galaxies, which bends as it passes massive clumps of dark matter during its journey to Earth. From the gravitational lensing effect, these groups turn out to contain around 30 times more dark than visible matter.
Left, a group of galaxies mapped by KiDS. Right, the same area of sky, but with the invisible dark matter rendered in pink.