For their investigation, astronomers turned to gravitational microlensing, since dark matter cannot be seen directly. With this technique, scientists watch what happens when a massive body lies in front of a farther object as viewed from Earth. The massive body bends and magnifies the light from the farther object like a lens, and the characteristics of the resulting light can provide information about the body causing the warping. But the number of microlensing events recorded by various teams was too small to account for dark matter, ruling out the possibility that dark matter is contained in MACHOs, the researchers said. However, there were more microlensing events than expected based on the known number of stars in the Milky Way. Astronomers said the most likely explanation for these events was an unseen string of stars stolen from the SMC by the LMC during a galactic collision. The mass of foreground stars in the LMC is thought to be causing the gravitational lensing of the stol
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