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Astronomers Release New All-Sky Map of Milky Way’s Outer Reaches

By NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Science Daily

Astronomers using data from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. [Editor’s note: See Related Multimedia link below.] Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside the swirling spiral arms that form the Milky Way’s recognizable central disk and is sparsely populated with stars. Though the halo may appear mostly empty, it is also predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe.

The data for the new map comes from ESA’s Gaia mission and NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or NEOWISE, which operated from 2009 to 2013 under the moniker WISE. The study makes use of data collected by the spacecraft between 2009 and 2018.

The new map reveals how a small galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) — so named because it is the larger of two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way — has sailed through the Milky Way’s galactic halo like a ship through water, its gravity creating a wake in the stars behind it. The LMC is located about 160,000 light-years from Earth and is less than one-quarter the mass of the Milky Way.

Though the inner portions of the halo have been mapped with a high level of accuracy, this is the first map to provide a similar picture of the halo’s outer regions, where the wake is found — about 200,000 light-years to 325,000 light-years from the galactic center. Previous studies have hinted at the wake’s existence, but the all-sky map confirms its presence and offers a detailed view of its shape, size, and location.

This disturbance in the halo also provides astronomers with an opportunity to study something they can’t observe directly: dark matter. While it doesn’t emit, reflect, or absorb light, the gravitational influence of dark matter has been observed across the universe. It is thought to create a scaffolding on which galaxies are built, such that without it, galaxies would fly apart as they spin. Dark matter is estimated to be five times more common in the universe than all the matter that emits and/or interacts with light, from stars to planets to gas clouds.

Although there are multiple theories about the nature of dark matter, all of them indicate that it should be present in the Milky Way’s halo. If that’s the case, then as the LMC sails through this region, it should leave a wake in the dark matter as well. The wake observed in the new star map is thought to be the outline of this dark matter wake; the stars are like leaves on the surface of this invisible ocean, their position shifting with the dark matter.

The interaction between the dark matter and the Large Magellanic Cloud has big implications for our galaxy. As the LMC orbits the Milky Way, the dark matter’s gravity drags on the LMC and slows it down. This will cause the dwarf galaxy’s orbit to get smaller and smaller until the galaxy finally collides with the Milky Way in about 2 billion years. These types of mergers might be a key driver in the growth of massive galaxies across the universe. In fact, astronomers think the Milky Way merged with another small galaxy about 10 billion years ago.

“This robbing of a smaller galaxy’s energy is not only why the LMC is merging with the Milky Way, but also why all galaxy mergers happen,” said Rohan Naidu, a doctoral student in astronomy at Harvard University and a co-author of the new paper. “The wake in our map is a really neat confirmation that our basic picture for how galaxies merge is on point!”

A Rare Opportunity

The authors of the paper also think the new map — along with additional data and theoretical analyses — may provide a test for different theories about the nature of dark matter, such as whether it consists of particles, like regular matter, and what the properties of those particles are.

“You can imagine that the wake behind a boat will be different if the boat is sailing through water or through honey,” said Charlie Conroy, a professor at Harvard University and an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, who co-authored the study. “In this case, the properties of the wake are determined by which dark matter theory we apply.”

Conroy led the team that mapped the positions of over 1,300 stars in the halo. The challenge arose in trying to measure the exact distance from Earth to a large portion of those stars: It’s often impossible to figure out whether a star is faint and closes by or bright and far away. The team used data from ESA’s Gaia mission, which provides the location of many stars in the sky but cannot measure distances to the stars in the Milky Way’s outer regions.

After identifying stars most likely located in the halo (because they were not obviously inside our galaxy or the LMC), the team looked for stars belonging to a class of giant stars with a specific light “signature” detectable by NEOWISE. Knowing the basic properties of the selected stars enabled the team to figure out their distance from Earth and create a new map. It charts a region starting about 200,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s center, or about where the LMC’s wake was predicted to begin and extends about 125,000 light-years beyond that.

Conroy and his colleagues were inspired to hunt for LMC’s wake after learning about a team of astrophysicists at the University of Arizona in Tucson that makes computer models predicting what dark matter in the galactic halo should look like. The two groups worked together on the new study.

One model by the Arizona team, included in the new study, predicted the general structure and specific location of the star wake revealed in the new map. Once the data had confirmed that the model was correct, the team could confirm what other investigations have also hinted at: that the LMC is likely on its first orbit around the Milky Way. If the smaller galaxy had already made multiple orbits, the shape and location of the wake would be significantly different from what has been observed. Astronomers think the LMC formed in the same environment as the Milky Way and another nearby galaxy, M31, and that it is close to completing a long first orbit around our galaxy (about 13 billion years). Its next orbit will be much shorter due to its interaction with the Milky Way.

“Confirming our theoretical prediction with observational data tells us that our understanding of the interaction between these two galaxies, including the dark matter, is on the right track,” said University of Arizona doctoral student in astronomy Nicolás Garavito-Camargo, who led work on the model used in the paper.

The new map also provides astronomers with a rare opportunity to test the properties of the dark matter (the notional water or honey) in our own galaxy. In the new study, Garavito-Camargo and colleagues used a popular dark matter theory called cold dark matter that fits the observed star map relatively well. Now the University of Arizona team is running simulations that use different dark matter theories to see which one best matches the wake observed in the stars.

“It’s a really special set of circumstances that came together to create this scenario that lets us test our dark matter theories,” said Gurtina Besla, a co-author of the study and an associate professor at the University of Arizona. “But we can only realize that test with the combination of this new map and the dark matter simulations that we built.”

Launched in 2009, the WISE spacecraft was placed into hibernation in 2011 after completing its primary mission. In September 2013, NASA reactivated the spacecraft with the primary goal of scanning for near-Earth objects, or NEOs, and the mission and spacecraft were renamed NEOWISE. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California managed and operated WISE for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The mission was selected competitively under NASA’s Explorers Program managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NEOWISE is a project of JPL, a division of Caltech, and the University of Arizona, supported by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.


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Materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion LaboratoryNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charlie Conroy, Rohan P. Naidu, Nicolás Garavito-Camargo, Gurtina Besla, Dennis Zaritsky, Ana Bonaca, Benjamin D. Johnson. All-sky dynamical response of the Galactic halo to the Large Magellanic CloudNature, 2021; 592 (7855): 534 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03385-7



New Study Suggests Supermassive Black Holes Could Form from Dark Matter

By Royal Astronomical Society | ScienceDaily

A new theoretical study has proposed a novel mechanism for the creation of supermassive black holes from dark matter. The international team find that rather than the conventional formation scenarios involving ‘normal’ matter, supermassive black holes could instead form directly from dark matter in high density regions in the centers of galaxies. The result has key implications for cosmology in the early Universe, and is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Exactly how supermassive black holes initially formed is one of the biggest problems in the study of galaxy evolution today. Supermassive black holes have been observed as early as 800 million years after the Big Bang, and how they could grow so quickly remains unexplained.

Standard formation models involve normal baryonic matter — the atoms and elements that that make up stars, planets, and all visible objects — collapsing under gravity to form black holes, which then grow over time. However the new work investigates the potential existence of stable galactic cores made of dark matter, and surrounded by a diluted dark matter halo, finding that the centers of these structures could become so concentrated that they could also collapse into supermassive black holes once a critical threshold is reached.

According to the model this could have happened much more quickly than other proposed formation mechanisms, and would have allowed supermassive black holes in the early Universe to form before the galaxies they inhabit, contrary to current understanding.

Carlos R. Argüelles, the researcher at Universidad Nacional de La Plata and ICRANet who led the investigation comments: “This new formation scenario may offer a natural explanation for how supermassive black holes formed in the early Universe, without requiring prior star formation or needing to invoke seed black holes with unrealistic accretion rates.”

Another intriguing consequence of the new model is that the critical mass for collapse into a black hole might not be reached for smaller dark matter halos, for example those surrounding some dwarf galaxies. The authors suggest that this then might leave smaller dwarf galaxies with a central dark matter nucleus rather than the expected black hole. Such a dark matter core could still mimic the gravitational signatures of a conventional central black hole, whilst the dark matter outer halo could also explain the observed galaxy rotation curves.

“This model shows how dark matter haloes could harbor dense concentrations at their centers, which may play a crucial role in helping to understand the formation of supermassive black holes,” added Carlos.

“Here we’ve proven for the first time that such core-halo dark matter distributions can indeed form in a cosmological framework, and remain stable for the lifetime of the Universe.”

The authors hope that further studies will shed more light on supermassive black hole formation in the very earliest days of our Universe, as well as investigating whether the centers of non-active galaxies, including our own Milky Way, may play host to these dense dark matter cores.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Royal Astronomical SocietyNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carlos R Argüelles, Manuel I Díaz, Andreas Krut, Rafael Yunis. On the formation and stability of fermionic dark matter haloes in a cosmological frameworkMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021; 502 (3): 4227 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa3986



Scientists Think They Have Found A Portal To The 5th Dimension

By | Collective Evolution

IN BRIEF
  • The Facts: A new study claims to have found an explanation for dark matter but relies on the discovery of a particle that leads to another dimension.
  • Reflect On: How do discoveries shift our understanding of reality and perhaps, who we are? Can a journey down the rabbit hole of non-material science cause understanding of the nature of human consciousness that can shift how we live our lives?

I know, it sounds like science fiction a little bit, but our world is a hell of a lot more mysterious and fascinating than much of our mainstream news and information lets on. A quick tour down the lane of post-material science returns many fascinating discoveries about superhuman abilities, extrasensory perception, remote viewing, non-local consciousness, and more. In short, we are extraordinary, and I believe science has shown this, even though mainstream culture lags behind in opening up to these ideas.

In a new study in The European Physical Journal C scientists are proposing the there exists a particle that can act as a portal to a fifth dimensionWhat exactly is the 5th dimension? Good question. Let’s start with what we know now about dimensions. To scientists, there have been four known dimensions in our universe. Three that makeup space (up and down, left and right, back and forth) this gives you “3D,” and the fourth dimension of time.

To understand the 5th dimension, we have to begin looking into dark matter, which is what scientists believe makes up most of the mass in our universe. Dark matter happens to be something we don’t know too much about as well. We technically can’t see it, and so scientists measure what effects its mass has on other observable matter. In the most recent study the authors – Adrian Carmona, Javier Castellano Ruiz, Matthias Neubert – said their original intention was to “explain the possible origin of fermion (particle) masses in theories with a warped extra dimension”. They sketched out a new scalar associated with the fermion, which they claim is similar to the Higgs field and Higgs boson particle.

“We found that the new scalar field had an interesting, non-trivial behaviour along the extra dimension,” the researchers told VICE. “If this heavy particle exists, it would necessarily connect the visible matter that we know and that we have studied in detail with the constituents of dark matter, assuming the dark matter is composed out of fundamental fermions, which live in the extra dimension.”

In simpler terms, this new study suggests that the particle in question may be able to provide a greater explanation for dark matter, the more we know about dark matter, the more we can understand the finer workings of our unseen universe.

The authors described the particle as “a possible new messenger to the dark sector”.

The hard-working is just beginning, however. Scientists have to now isolate this particle. The Higgs boson particle mentioned above was spotted by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. However, it is not powerful enough to find this new particle and thus a new device would have to be created.

What intrigued me about this story was one of the statements physicists made about a new study they wrote exploring the potential of a 5th dimension:

“This new particle could play an important role in the cosmological history of the universe, and might produce gravitational waves that can be searched for with future gravitational-wave detectors.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




The Universe May Have “Warped Fifth Dimension” – and New Particle Could Unlock It

By | TheMindUnleashed.com

A team of researchers believes that they have found a natural explanation for dark matter and a number of other scientific oddities that have so far defied explanation, but their work hinges on the existence of a new theoretical subatomic particle as well as an entirely new “warped fifth dimension” of the universe.

While the sentence seems like the premise of a brain-bending science fiction tale, it’s actually the takeaway from a recent study that researchers hope can shed light on some longstanding mysteries of science.

The new speculative particle, which remains undiscovered, is a type of fermion – or subatomic particle – that would be able to travel through this new dimension and bind dark matter to the luminous matter that comprises everything visible and physical in the universe, reports Motherboard.

Moreover, the theoretical existence of this particle is consistent with other models on how dark matter behaves. While this all seems far-fetched and appears to the layperson to be a case of physicists bending the rules of the universe to explain their own theory, their research has just been published last month in  The European Physical Journal C.

According to the study, “the presence of new physics” can help lift the veil on these processes that are presently enshrouded in mystery by offering a model of the universe with a fifth dimension that these particles can traverse.

The study was authored by theoretical physicists Javier Castellano and Matthias Neubert at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz’s PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence, along with Adrián Carmona, an Athenea3i fellow at the department of theoretical physics and the cosmos at the University of Granada.

The researchers told Motherboard that this new particle would be capable of interacting with the Higgs Boson, and would be similar to the elementary particle, but would also be too heavy for any of the current-generation particle colliders and accelerators to detect.

However, the existence of the particle and its fifth dimension would represent “a unique window” into the mysteries of dark matter, according to the scientists.

“If this heavy particle exists, it would necessarily connect the visible matter that we know and that we have studied in detail with the constituents of the dark matter, assuming that dark matter is composed out of fundamental fermions, which live in the extra dimension,” one of the physicists explained.

“This is not a far-fetched idea, since we know that ordinary matter is made of fermions and that, if this extra dimension exists, they will very likely propagate into it,” they added.

While actually proving that this hypothetical subatomic particle and the fifth dimension exists remains difficult at the present time, the researchers believe that their study and the model it lays out can help scientists in future studies of cosmology and particle physics.

“This could also eventually lead to an interesting cosmological history of the universe and might lead to the production of gravitational waves,” they added.

“This is an interesting line of research, which we plan to follow in the months ahead.”




Searching For Invisible Axion Dark Matter with a New Multiple-Cell Cavity Haloscope

Figure showing the cross-sectional view of various multiple-cell (double-, quadruple-, and octuple-cell) cavities with the expected distribution of the axion-induced electric field by the resonant mode of interest. Credit: Jeong et al.

By Ingrid Fadelli | Phys.org

Over the past few decades, many experimental physicists have been probing the existence of particles called axions, which would result from a specific mechanism that they think could explain the contradiction between theories and experiments describing a fundamental symmetry. This symmetry is associated with a matter-antimatter imbalance in the Universe, reflected in interactions between different particles.

If this mechanism took place in the early Universe, such a particle might have a very small mass and be ‘invisible.” Subsequently, researchers proposed that the  might also be a promising candidate for dark matter, an elusive, hypothetical type of matter that does not emit, reflect, or absorb light.

While dark matter has not yet been experimentally observed, it is believed to make up 85% of the universe’s mass. Detecting axions could have important implications for ongoing dark matter experiments, as it could enhance the present understanding of these elusive particles.

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have recently carried out a search for invisible axion dark matter using a multiple-cell  haloscope that they designed (i.e., an instrument to observe halos, parhelia, and other similar physical phenomena). Their results compared favorably to those of previous haloscope-based axion dark matter searches, highlighting the potential of the instrument they created for both dark matter searches and other physics research.

“The axion is detectable in the form of a microwave photon that it is converted into in the presence of a strong magnetic field,” SungWoo Youn, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “A cavity haloscope, typically employing a cylindrical resonator placed in a solenoid to utilize resonance to enhance the signal, is the most sensitive approach to probe the well-established theoretical models.”

While cavity haloscopes could be promising tools for detecting axions, they are generally very sensitive to relatively low frequencies. This is mainly because resonant frequencies are inversely proportional to the cavity’s radius, which reduces the detection volume for high-frequency searches.

This is one of the reasons why the most sensitive axion search carried out so far, namely the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMC) by the University of Washington, set experimental limits below 1GHz. One of the possible ways to avoid this volume loss would be to bundle many smaller cavities together and combine individual signals, to ensure that all frequencies and phases are synchronized.

“This multiple-cavity system has been proposed earlier, but has not been successfully addressed, due to effects on the reliability and increased complexity of the system’s operation,” Youn said. “Our team at the Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP) at IBS, located at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea, led by myself, thus developed a novel cavity design, so-called multiple-cell cavity.”

The cavity haloscope designed by Youn and his colleagues is characterized by multiple partitions that vertically divide the volume of its cavity into identical cells. This unique design increases resonant frequencies with a minimal loss in volume. The researchers also ensured that partitions situated in the middle of the cavity are separated by a gap.

“By making all the cells spatially connected, our design enables a single antenna to pick up the signal from the entire volume and thus significantly simplifies the structure of the receiver chain,” Youn explained. “The optimally sized gap also allows the axion-induced signal to be evenly distributed over the space, which maximizes the effective volume regardless of machining tolerance and mechanical misalignment in cavity construction. I dubbed this cavity design ‘pizza cavity’ and compared the gap to a pizza saver, which keeps slices intact with its original toppings.”

The haloscope that the researchers used to conduct their experiment is the result of approximately two years of research based on simulations, followed by the fabrication of numerous prototypes. In their recent study, it was used to perform a search for axion dark matter utilizing a 9T-superconducting magnet at a temperature of 2 kelvin (−271 °C). This allowed the researchers to quickly scan a frequency range of >200 MHz above 3 GHz, which is 4~5 times higher than that covered by the ADMX experiment.

“Even if we have not observed any axion-like signal, we successfully demonstrated that the multiple-cell cavity would be able to detect high-frequency signals with high performance and reliability,” Youn said. “We also calculated that due to the larger volume and higher efficiency, this new cavity design can enable us to explore the given frequency range 4 times faster than the conventional one. I often make a humorous but meaningful statement: “If a traditional experiment takes 4 years to prove something, our experiment will take only 1 year. Our Ph.D. students can graduate a lot faster than others.'”

The study carried out by Youn and his colleagues prove the value and potential of the pizza-cavity haloscope they developed for conducting invisible  searches in high-frequency regions. In the future, it could thus aid the search for this elusive type of matter and someday perhaps even enable its detection.

“Currently, our center is also preparing for experiments by grafting several pizza cavities onto the existing systems to search for even higher-frequency axions,” Youn added.

More information: Search for invisible axion dark matter with a multiple-cell haloscope. Physical Review Letters(2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.221302.

Journal information: Physical Review Letters




New Hubble Data Explains Missing Dark Matter

Hubble Space Telescope photo illustration (stock image; elements furnished by NASA).
Credit: © Vadimsadovski / stock.adobe.com 

Source: Science Daily

The missing dark matter in certain galaxies can be explained by the effects of tidal disruption: the gravity forces of a neighboring massive galaxy, literally tearing the smaller galaxy apart.

In 2018 an international team of researchers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and several other observatories uncovered, for the first time, a galaxy in our cosmic neighborhood that is missing most of its dark matter. This discovery of the galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 was a surprise to astronomers, as it was understood that dark matter is a key constituent in current models of galaxy formation and evolution. In fact, without the presence of dark matter, the primordial gas would lack enough gravitational pull to start collapsing and forming new galaxies. A year later, another galaxy that misses dark matter was discovered, NGC 1052-DF4, which further triggered intense debates among astronomers about the nature of these objects.

Now, new Hubble data have been used to explain the reason behind the missing dark matter in NGC 1052-DF4, which resides 45 million light-years away. Mireia Montes of the University of New South Wales in Australia led an international team of astronomers to study the galaxy using deep optical imaging. They discovered that the missing dark matter can be explained by the effects of tidal disruption. The gravity forces of the neighboring massive galaxy NGC 1035 are tearing NGC 1052-DF4 apart. During this process, the dark matter is removed, while the stars feel the effects of the interaction with another galaxy at a later stage.

Until now, the removal of dark matter in this way has remained hidden from astronomers as it can only be observed using extremely deep images that can reveal extremely faint features. “We used Hubble in two ways to discover that NGC 1052-DF4 is experiencing an interaction,” explained Montes. “This includes studying the galaxy’s light and the galaxy’s distribution of globular clusters.”

Thanks to Hubble’s high resolution, the astronomers could identify the galaxy’s globular cluster population. The 10.4-meter Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) telescope and the IAC80 telescope in the Canary Islands of Spain were also used to complement Hubble’s observations by further studying the data.

“It is not enough just to spend a lot of time observing the object, but a careful treatment of the data is vital,” explained team member Raúl Infante-Sainz of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain. “It was therefore important that we use not just one telescope/instrument, but several (both ground- and space-based) to conduct this research. With the high resolution of Hubble, we can identify the globular clusters, and then with GTC photometry we obtain the physical properties.”

Globular clusters are thought to form in the episodes of intense star formation that shaped galaxies. Their compact sizes and luminosity make them easily observable, and they are therefore good tracers of the properties of their host galaxy. In this way, by studying and characterizing the spatial distribution of the clusters in NGC 1052-DF4, astronomers can develop insight into the present state of the galaxy itself. The alignment of these clusters suggests they are being “stripped” from their host galaxy, and this supports the conclusion that tidal disruption is occurring.

By studying the galaxy’s light, the astronomers also found evidence of tidal tails, which are formed of the material moving away from NGC 1052-DF4. This further supports the conclusion that this is a disruption event. The additional analysis concluded that the central parts of the galaxy remain untouched and only about 7% of the stellar mass of the galaxy is hosted in these tidal tails. This means that dark matter, which is less concentrated than stars, was previously and preferentially stripped from the galaxy, and now the outer stellar component is starting to be stripped as well.

“This result is a good indicator that, while the dark matter of the galaxy was evaporated from the system, the stars are only now starting to suffer the disruption mechanism,” explained team member Ignacio Trujillo of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain. “In time, NGC 1052-DF4 will be cannibalized by the large system around NGC 1035, with at least some of their stars floating free in deep space.”

The discovery of evidence to support the mechanism of tidal disruption as the explanation for the galaxy’s missing dark matter has not only solved an astronomical conundrum but has also brought a sigh of relief to astronomers. Without it, scientists would be faced with having to revise our understanding of the laws of gravity.

“This discovery reconciles existing knowledge of how galaxies form and evolve with the most favorable cosmological model,” added Montes.


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Materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterNote: Content may be edited for style and length.





Dark Matter Is Even Stranger Than We Thought | SciShow News

Video Source: SciShow Space

Scientists can see how dark matter is distributed based on how its gravity affects light, but when astronomers compared recent data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope to current models, something didn’t add up. Does this mean our current assumptions about dark matter physics are wrong?




What Is Dark Matter? Astronomers Are One Step Closer to Understanding Mysterious Phenomena

By Kelly Dickerson | Mic

dark-matter-study

Astronomers may have detected signatures of elusive dark matter — a mysterious, invisible material that permeates the universe, but has so far proved undetectable.

If the results are confirmed, scientists will have a better idea of what dark matter is and how we might be able to directly observe it.

Even though we can’t see dark matter, we know it exists because we can measure its gravitational effect on visible matter. Galaxies in our observable universe are rotating way too fast for the gravity of their visible matter to be enough to hold them together. Based on the matter we can see, these galaxies should have flown apart and dissolved long ago.

So, clearly, something else is helping hold these galaxies together — and astronomers think that something is the gravitational pull of dark matter. In fact, astronomers estimate the matter we can see makes up only about 5% of the universe, while dark matter makes up 27%. (The other 68% is tied up in something called dark energy.)

Detecting dark matter: One of the most popular dark matter theories is that it is composed ofweakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, that annihilate each other when they collide. Those collisions should create a type of detectable high-energy radiation in the form of gamma rays.

A team of astronomers studying the distribution of gamma ray emissions near the center of the Milky Way found a huge gamma ray burst signature that might be evidence of such dark matter collisions

[Read more here]

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