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Experiment detects hints of dark matter


Posted on Saturday, 6 April, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments


Image credit: NASA


 
The space station's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has picked up evidence that could indicate dark matter.

The $2 billion experiment is tasked with surveying the skies for high-energy particles in an effort to help scientists understand the formation of the universe. Sometimes referred to as the 'Space LHC' after the Large Hadron Collider, the AMS has detected possible evidence of a process known as "annihilation" which is thought to occur when dark matter collides with itself. It isn't clear if this is definitely what has been picked up but it does offer tantalizing new details in the hunt for proof that dark matter exists.

"It could take a few more years," said deputy spokesman Roberto Battiston. "But the accuracy that AMS is displaying is far greater than past experiments, so we're getting closer to unveiling the cause of the particle events we're detecting."

"A $2bn experiment on the space station has made observations that could prove to be the first signs of dark matter, a mysterious component of the Universe."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (8)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 6 April, 2013, 15:28
It seems fantastic that the majority of all the matter in the universe is unseen and largely undetectable. Very strange indeed.
Comment icon #2 Posted by masaimara on 6 April, 2013, 16:27
Experiment detects nothingness
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 April, 2013, 17:27
You couldn't be more wrong. It has detected hints of an awful lot of "somethingness". Just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Alekx on 6 April, 2013, 19:23
Very interesting. The porcentages shown are impressive, gives us a good approximation of understanding that what we normally see is just a tiny little bit of what really is out there
Comment icon #5 Posted by Occams Razor on 7 April, 2013, 0:44
Space has a smell. After the first spacewalk there was a smell of burnt orange peel, or burnt almonds in the spacecraft. They initially thought it was some kind of problem with the spacecraft but found that the smell was there in other spacecraft after all later mission spacewalks. I think this smell must consist of physical particles in order to be detected by the nose. Perhaps it's the smell of dark matter. Perhaps NASA have bought samples of dark matter back to Earth many times without even knowing it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sundew on 7 April, 2013, 1:45
Seems to me that if dark matter exists like that in "empty" space, it also would exist here on earth. After all, we are talking about something that accounts for gravitation, and the mass of earth itself generates gravity, so the two should seeming attract one another. Even if the bits of dark matter were tiny like the micro-metorites which add several thousands tons to earth's mass every year (and are detectable under a microscope), then you would expect to find some evidence here on the earth as well. We would not have to accidentally bring it back in the cargo hold of a spa... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 12 April, 2013, 21:45
Visit for breaking science news. An advanced particle detector onboard the International Space Station may have recorded its first whiff of Dark Matter. Researchers are excited about the possibility of finally understanding what this mysterious substance is made of.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 13 April, 2013, 18:20
that's cool and good finding too.I read That dark matter makes up 90% of the universe so.in other words there's a lot we don't see because we only see 10% with te naked eye or human eyes.So this means great news on many levels.
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