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Mysterious signal detected in Perseus Cluster

Posted on Thursday, 26 June, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

Could the signal be evidence of dark matter ? Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
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.

Believed to make up 84.5% of the matter in the universe, the nature of dark matter still remains something of a mystery despite extensive efforts by scientists to prove that it exists.

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.

If this turns out to be correct then it could account for at least some of the dark matter in the universe and in so doing help scientists to put together one more piece of the puzzle in understanding the structure and composition of the cosmos.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (9)

Tags: Dark Matter

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 June, 2014, 0:01
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 hypo... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by UM-Bot on 26 June, 2014, 15:08
Originating 240 million light years away, the signal could be the best evidence yet of dark matter. Read More:
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 26 June, 2014, 16:05
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.
Comment icon #4 Posted by keithisco on 26 June, 2014, 16:30
This is what I am failing to understand... 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?
Comment icon #5 Posted by The Id3al Experience on 26 June, 2014, 20:31
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)
Comment icon #6 Posted by Harte on 26 June, 2014, 23:44
It might establish the existence of sterile neutrinos, thus adding a big number to the known mass of the universe. 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
Comment icon #7 Posted by bigjonalien on 26 June, 2014, 23:55
they r picking up alien transmissions,it's just beyond human comprehension, dark matter? u mean the force?lol
Comment icon #8 Posted by Silent Trinity on 30 June, 2014, 17:02
For something so abundant it is amazing how elusive it is! Great find!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 22 July, 2014, 0:13
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

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