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Mysterious X-ray Signal Intrigues Astronomers

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Perseus A: Mysterious X-ray Signal Intrigues Astronomers

A new study of the Perseus galaxy cluster, shown in this image, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and 73 other clusters with ESA's XMM-Newton has revealed a mysterious X-ray signal in the data. This signal is represented in the circled data points in the inset, which is a plot of X-ray intensity as a function of X-ray energy. The signal is also seen in over 70 other galaxy clusters using XMM-Newton. This unidentified X-ray emission line - that is, a spike of intensity at a very specific energy, in this case centered on about 3.56 kiloelectron volts (keV) - requires further investigation to confirm both the signal's existence and nature as described in the latest Chandra press release.

arrow3.gifRead more...

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Tour of Perseus A

A team of astronomers has used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton to study a large group of galaxy clusters with a surprising result. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity, and thus can reveal lots of information about the cosmos. This most recent study, which included the well-known Perseus cluster and 72 others, has uncovered a mysterious X-ray signal. Astronomers are intrigued by a spike of intensity at a specific wavelength of X-ray light in the data because of one proposed explanation. Scientists think that a hypothetical particle called a sterile neutrino may, in fact, be responsible for this spike of intensity. Some scientists have proposed that the sterile neutrino could be a candidate for dark matter, something that makes up about 85% of the Universe yet does not emit or absorb light. While they are excited about this finding, the researchers say it's too early to claim whether or not this mysterious X-ray signal is real, or whether or not it is indeed the signature of the sterile neutrino. They'll keep gathering data and looking at other galaxy clusters to make sure they see it elsewhere. In the meantime, they'll be looking at their theories to see where else the physics may take them.

Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart

Source: Chandra - Photo Album

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Originating 240 million light years away, the signal could be the best evidence yet of dark matter.

The concept of dark matter was devised as a way to account for the missing mass in the universe that can be inferred to exist through observations of the properties and motions of other astronomical bodies but that cannot be directly detected.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...perseus-cluster

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Okay! This is a great find! If dark matter is supposed to make up almost 85% of the cosmos, you'd think it might be a bit easier to locate.

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This is what I am failing to understand...

The newly detected signal, described as a "spike of intensity at a very specific wavelength of x-ray light", is thought to come from the decay of a theoretical particle called a "sterile neutrino" which interacts with normal matter through gravity

The article is talking about a Theoretical Particle that interacts with Normal Matter. How does this theoretical interaction with normal matter suggest that this is a signal for Dark Matter (which is not "normal" matter).? What is the mechanism that produces a spike in a very specific wavelength of the X ray spectrum through gravitational interactions?

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Posted (edited)

Okay! This is a great find! If dark matter is supposed to make up almost 85% of the cosmos, you'd think it might be a bit easier to locate.

Not at all, Dark matter does not produces nor absorb light or electromagnetic radiation at all (well at any level that we can measure), thus invisable this is why we can only measure its effects through gravity.

Its like the glue you can not see that is sticking the picture to the paper. You cannot directly touch or see the glue, but you know its there from its effects on the picture (sticking to the paper)

Edited by The Id3al Experience
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The article is talking about a Theoretical Particle that interacts with Normal Matter. How does this theoretical interaction with normal matter suggest that this is a signal for Dark Matter (which is not "normal" matter).?

It might establish the existence of sterile neutrinos, thus adding a big number to the known mass of the universe.

What is the mechanism that produces a spike in a very specific wavelength of the X ray spectrum through gravitational interactions?

The spike, it seems, can be explained not by an interaction but by the decay of a sterile neutrino. Probably several other explanations for it though.

Harte

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they r picking up alien transmissions,it's just beyond human comprehension, dark matter? u mean the force?lol

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For something so abundant it is amazing how elusive it is! Great find!

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Big Mystery in the Perseus Cluster

A mysterious X-ray signal from the Perseus cluster of galaxies, which researchers say cannot be explained by known physics, could be a key clue to the nature of Dark Matter.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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