Black hole concept with deep universe galaxy, planets, stars.

531356649

Black hole concept with deep universe galaxy, planets, stars.

Photo by: gremlin

gremlin

Mapping Dark Matter in Outer Space

By: Discovery

Scientists in Zurich are using facial recognition-style algorithms to map what we cannot see in space.

Do you have a passport or a driver’s license? Are you on Facebook or Instagram? If you are out and about in modern society, it is likely that you have interacted with facial recognition software in one way or another. The question posed by astrophysicists in Zurich was, "How can we utilize similar software in order to understand what we can’t see in space?"

In September of 2019, a group of scientists authored a journal article entitled, Cosmological Constraints with Deep Learning from KiDS-450 Weak Lensing Maps. Luckily, this brilliant group of Ph.Ds at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich released something more digestible for interested minds outside of the academic community.

In speaking to ETH Zurich News, Oliver Morsch, Tomasz Kacprzak gave some context to how learned computers, much like facial recognition, can help us understand more about space. “Facebook uses its algorithms to find eyes, mouths, or ears in images; we use ours to look for the tell-​tale signs of dark matter and dark energy.”

So, what does that mean? In very simple terms, we cannot see dark matter and dark energy in space. Cosmologists, physicists, and computer scientists worked together to essentially teach computers how to analyze maps of space to give them the information they need to understand the universe—past, present, and future. Through the study of what is there, these scientists can truly understand what is in the negative space.

Humans have been using statistical analysis to do the same thing for years, but the speed and accuracy at which these computers can analyze the same data is revolutionary for this field. Once the computers teach themselves, this technology can expand the understanding of more images of the sky.

Next Up

Global Meltdown: Scientists Race to Gather Crucial Climate Data from Glaciers

Glaciers store a vast amount of important climate data within their frozen rivers of snow and ice. But many of the world’’s 220,000 glaciers are under threat from global warming and are melting at an accelerating rate. Now scientists are in a race to gather long-frozen records of Earth’s past climate from the ice.

Digital Twin Cities Can Shrink the Impact of Planet’s Largest Polluters

Cities are the planet’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, so they offer the greatest opportunity to tackle climate change. Hitting net zero emissions by 2050, a target set at the COP26 summit, could be achieved more quickly using city digital twins – working virtual replicas – that help track, manage and reduce environmental damage rapidly.

Seed Banking: Storing Plant Diversity to Ensure Healthy Food

What is a seed bank and how can it help up save certain crops from extinction?

The Bacteria Library: One Hundred Years of Infectious Bugs

Britain’s most important bacterial library, the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) turned 100 this year.

Vertical Farming: Raising Agriculture’s Potential and Lowering its Environmental Impact

Our planet is finite and with the population growing, how do we provide food to the world without taking up more space?

During a Plague, Newton Discovered Gravity

The world is currently locked in the grip of the deadly novel coronavirus. Around the globe, schools are closed, businesses are shuttered, and families are staying home as much as possible in order to curb the spread of the disease.

What If Dark Matter Doesn't Exist and the Law of Gravity Is Wrong?

Dark matter and gravity have scientists at odds.

AI Tools Help to Predict Extreme Weather and Save Lives

Predicting extreme weather events is a tricky business. Changing climate conditions have increased the frequency of severe storms, floods, and heatwaves, along with larger wildfires. As a result, scientists are using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for more accurate forecasts that help to minimize damage and save lives.

Storm Dennis, When 2 Become 1 Menacing Bomb Cyclone

What is a bomb cyclone? And what’s up with Storm Dennis being such a menace in the UK?

Polar Heatwaves Raise Alarm On Ice Melt and Sea Level Rise

Polar heatwaves in the Arctic and Antarctic have climate scientists concerned about the possibility of rapid climate breakdown. Soaring seasonal temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius above normal in Antarctica and more than 20 Celsius in the Arctic could be a sign of cataclysmic shifts in both regions.