Dark Matter First Signals From Space

dark matter

Dark matter may be produced at the center of the Milky Way, a new study submitted by independent scientists from the National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) concludes. Along with the colleagues from the Harvard-Smithonian Center for Astrophysics, the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, and the University of Chicago, new maps were developed showing the center of the galaxy producing high-energy emissions of gamma rays, consistent with the production of dark matter, as stated in Farnews. By using this technique, scientists were able to get dark matter first signals from space.

Dan Hooper, the lead author of the study and an astrophysicist at Fermilab in Batavia, IL, said in an interview for Farnews that the new maps should be able to analyze and give better explanation for dark matter first signals from space. Farnews adds that the galactic center should have more dark matter than anywhere else, due to its density, and high emission of gamma rays. Dark matter is the foundation for building galaxies since it attracts matter, but its origins and nature are unknown. Scientists have envisioned the Weak Interactive Massive Particles (WIMP) which may be the candidates for what dark matter is consisted of. Farnews explains that the WIMPs may collide with each other, producing gamma ray bursts.

Dan Hooper adds, for Voice of America, that the current signal currently cannot be explained by other alternatives other than dark matter. However, he does not deny that a further investigation is needed to confirm. Peter Michelson, a Stanford University physicist, says that the team is in process of analyzing further a lot of complex parts of the Milky Way galaxy. Tracy Statyer, a co-author of the study, says that if what they have detected is dark matter, the team is already learning about its lack of detection. Although the scientists are excited for their findings, they hope that in the future this time will be looked back when dark matter was detected for the first time.

Farnews explains further that the team has been looking at the dwarf galaxies, who emit smaller signals of dark matter due to the smaller amount of matter in them. Elliott Bloom, a member of the Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, said that there is about one-in-12 chance that there won’t be any signal at all in the dwarf galaxies.

For decades, scientists have been wondering how dark matter forms, where it comes from and how it is produced. Space.com states that roughly 80% of the universe is made of it, but it cannot be seen because it doesn’t emit light. As mentioned by the BBC, the hunt started in the 1970s when astronomer Vera Rubin measured the velocities of stars in other galaxies and noticed that the stars were moving faster that they should have been. Along with the laws of gravity, scientists suggested that there must be some kind ‘dark matter’, matter that cannot be seen, but it’s there. The race for finding dark matter first signals from space, and detecting its subatomic particles continues to this day.

by Marija Makeska

BBC Universe
Universe Today
Voice of America

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