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Signal of dark matter, astronomers have found - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 13 December 2014 13:55

Astronomers may have finally found a signal of dark matter, the mysterious and elusive substance that constitutes most of the material Universe.

Poring over data collected by the spacecraft telescope XMM-Newton (ESA), the research team noticed a strange burst of X-radiation from two different celestial objects - the Andromeda galaxy and galaxy clusters in Perseus.

Signal corresponds to an unknown particle or atom and, therefore, may have been produced by dark matter, researchers say.


"The distribution of the signal within the galaxy corresponds exactly to what we expected from dark matter - that is, concentrated and intense in the center of the object, weak and diffuse around the edges," said study co-author Oleg Ruchaysky from the Federal Polytechnic School of LaUSAnne (EFPL) in Switzerland.

"In order to verify our results, we examined the data from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and made the same remarks," said lead author Alexey Boyarsky from EFPL and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Dark matter is so called because it does not absorb or emit light, and therefore can not be observed directly. But astronomers know that dark matter exists because it interacts gravitationally with "normal" matter that we can see and touch. And, apparently, a lot of dark matter: the observation of the dynamics of the movement of stars and galaxies show that about 80 percent of all matter in the Universe - the "dark" - has a gravitational force, but does not interact with light.


Researchers have proposed a number of different exotic particles as components of dark matter, including weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) and axions, sterile neutrinos, cousins hypothetical "ordinary" neutrinos (particles that resemble electrons, but have no electrical charge).

The collapse of sterile neutrinos are believed to produce X-rays, and the research team suspects that it may be dark matter particles responsible for the mysterious signal from the Andromeda and Perseus cluster.

If the results of which will be published next week in the journal Physical Review Letters, are confirmed, a new era in astronomy, according to the research team.

"Confirmation of this discovery could lead to the construction of new telescopes specially designed for the study of signals from dark matter particles," said Boyarsky. "We'll know where to look for the dark structures in space and will be able to recover, as the Universe was formed."


НАЖМИТЕ ЗДЕСЬ ДЛЯ ПРОСМОТРА ВСЕГО СПИСКА НОВОСТЕЙ О НЕОБЫЧНЫХ ЯВЛЕНИЯХ>>>

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