Gamma rays from the center of Milky Way could be evidence of dark matter
Washington: Gamma-ray photons seen emanating from the center of the Milky Way galaxy could support the theory that dark matter exists at the center of galaxies, according to UC Irvine astrophysicists.
Kevork Abazajian, assistant professor, and Manoj Kaplinghat, associate professor, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy analyzed data collected between August 2008 and June 2012 from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope orbiting Earth.
They found more gamma-ray photons coming from the Milky Way galactic center than they had expected, based on previous scientific models. Gamma-rays are electromagnetic radiation emitted during radioactive decay or other high-energy particle processes.
“This is the first time this new source has been observed with such high statistical significance, and the most striking part is how the shape, spectrum and rate of the observed gamma rays are very consistent with the leading theories for dark matter,” Abazajian said.
“Future observations of regions with less astrophysical emission, such as dwarf galaxies, will be able to conclusively determine if this is actually from the dark matter,” he noted.
Nonluminous and not directly detectable, dark matter is thought to account for 85 percent of the universe’s mass. Its existence can only be inferred from its gravitational effects on other, visible matter.
The prevailing hypothesis is that dark matter is composed of weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. When two WIMPs meet, they annihilate each other to produce more familiar particles – including gamma rays.
Although the data interpretation seems to be consistent with dark-matter theory, the gamma rays could be coming from a source other than WIMP destruction, Kaplinghat noted.
“The signal we see is also consistent with photons emitted by pulsars,” he said, “or from high-energy particles interacting with gas in the galactic center.”
The results were reported in the American Physical Society journal Physical Review D.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Analysis of Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan
- DNA: US army's joint exercise with Indian Army and their consolation on Uri attack
- India- America joint military exercise begins in Ranikhet
- Exclusive: This is what Kashmir's stone pelters have to say!
- India to activate laser walls on LOC to stop infiltration
- SETBACK! Sedition case against 200 Congress workers for shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans during rally for Uri martyrs
- Did Arvind Kejriwal tweet in favour of Pakistan over Uri attacks? Here is what Twitter says
- Rameez Raja picks all-time XI - Three Indians, but just one Pakistani make it to the list
- This Hindu-dominated village in West Bengal is not allowed to organise Durga Puja as Muslims don't want it
- As Pakistan gloats over hosting 70 Russians, 250 Indian Army soldiers renew bonds in Vladivostok