Swiss and Dutch researchers have detected a signal that is thought to be the first physical evidence of the elusive Dark Matter. Scientists say the Dark Matter makes up more than 80% of matter in the universe, but it doesn’t interact with light, so it can’t be seen. It was first theorized more than seven decades ago. Every atom emits a spectrum of light, which helps scientists determine what distant stars and planets are made up of.
The first sign of Dark Matter?
Researchers at the Leiden University in The Netherlands and the EPFL’s Laboratory of Particle Physics and Cosmology (LPPC) in Switzerland have detected unexpected signals coming from a cluster of galaxies in the constellation Perseus and in the Andromeda galaxy. When astrophysicists analyzed spectrum of light from Andromeda and the Perseus cluster, they were surprised to see spikes where nothing should exist.
Scientists believe it was a result of the Dark Matter particles decaying and emitting photons. The distribution of signals in Andromeda corresponds to where theoretically the largest concentration of Dark Matter exists. Dr Alexey Boyarsky of Leiden University said that this may be the first sign of Dark Matter. If the discovery is confirmed, space agencies could design new telescopes especially for the study of signals from Dark Matter particles.
So far, there is no proof of Dark Matter. But scientists argue that it must exist to justify the movement of planets, stars and galaxies. The visible matter is just 20% of the universe. There is too much gravity in the universe, which is created by something other than the visible matter. What’s more, physics equations don’t add up without Dark Matter.
Scientists tested the theory by using data from Milky Way
XMM-Newton telescope collected thousands of signals and eliminated the ones coming from known atoms and particles. They were surprised to find a signal that appeared in the X-ray spectrum as a weak, photon emission. Even after accounting for the measurement or instrument error, they couldn’t attribute this signal to any known form of matter.
They further looked through data from our Milky Way galaxy.They found these same signals in areas where the Dark Matter must exist to maintain the movement of the Galaxy.