Dark Matter Signal May Have Been Found In Mysterious X-Ray Data
After a decades-long search, astronomers may finally have found the first sign of dark matter. That’s the invisible substance that scientists believe makes up the bulk of our universe, since visible matter accounts for only about 20 percent of our universe’s mass.
While scientists can observe dark matter indirectly by looking at its gravitational effects on visible matter, they have struggled to come up with tangible evidence that proves the stuff exists–until now.
This week, a team of researchers from France and the Netherlands announced that they may have detected the signal of decaying dark matter particles.
For the research, the team analyzed the x-rays emitted from two celestial objects: the Perseus galaxy cluster, an array of galaxies located approximately 250 million light years from Earth, and our “sister” galaxy Andromeda, which is approximately 2.5 million light years away. The researchers looked at data collected by the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton telescope and spotted a mysterious “anomaly” that could not have been emitted by any known atom or particle.