Dark matter plays an important role in our Universe: without it, galaxies and stars could not have formed.

Through gravitational instabilities, the initially smooth distribution of dark matter in the early Universe started to form clumps, in which gas could cool down and form stars.

Galaxy formation theories give us an idea of how this process has taken place, and predict the existence and properties of dark matter haloes in which galaxies nowadays should still reside.

But how do we know that these dark haloes are really there?

In this lecture I take you through the observational evidence for dark matter, and discuss the techniques that astronomers use to find and map dark matter in galaxies and galaxy clusters.

We also briefly look at alternatives to dark matter and finally we find out how one day, when our Sun has turned into a white dwarf, dark matter can save our lives…

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Summer Undergraduate Lectures

Dunlap Institute PRO

Introduction to topics in Astronomy for Science Undergrads.

These lectures were originally delivered during the Dunlap Institute's 2011 Summer Undergraduate Program, led by Dr. Anne-Marie Weijmans.

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