Dark matter, the mysterious substance that constitutes most of the material universe, remains as elusive as ever. Although experiments on the ground and in space have yet to find a trace of dark matter, six or more years of data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has broadened the mission’s dark matter hunt using some novel approaches.
Atoms or their constituents account for a mere 4.9 percent of the universe. The rest is dark matter, so understanding this ubiquitous yet mysterious substance is a prime goal of modern astrophysics. By studying the spatial distribution of gamma-ray emission in the Milky Way, astronomers believe they have now identified a signature of dark matter annihilation.
Indisputable physical calculations state that approximately 27 percent of the universe is dark matter, but there are indications that we might never see it. Now researchers in Denmark turn this somehow depressing scenario into an advantage and propose a new model for what dark matter might be — and how to test it.
It has been suggested that gamma rays coming from the dense region of space in the inner Milky Way galaxy could be caused when invisible dark matter particles collide, but two new studies suggest that the gamma ray bursts are due to other astrophysical phenomena such as fast-rotating stars called millisecond pulsars.
Dark matter is called “dark” for a good reason. Although they outnumber particles of regular matter by more than a factor of 10, particles of dark matter are elusive. Now, by measuring the mass of a nearby dwarf galaxy called Triangulum II, astronomers believe they may have found the highest concentration of dark matter in any known galaxy.