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Did we just discover what dark matter is made of? Maybe sterile neutrinos are the solution!

DNews reports that sterile neutrinos could be the candidates for dark matter. Those are neutrinos that have masses between the electron neutrino (0.3 eV) and muon neutrino (0.115 MeV). In fact, it seems that the sterile neutrino might have a mass of just about 3.55 keV as it gives off X rays in that band when it decays.

We still need to confirm this, but the researchers have found a small bump in the X ray band at about 3.55 keV that correlate with the results from gravitational predictions:

The hunt for the dark matter particle is decades old, but we hope it has come to a close. Watch below the history of this search and how they could detect the sterile neutrinos in the X ray band:

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What is dark matter?

Psysics Girl explains us what dark matter is and how they could know suck a thing really exists. Dark matter seems to be composed on wimp – weakly interacting massive particles and it does not interact with electromagnetic radiation. You only know it is there because it causes a gravitational pull on things.

The scientists were able to detect dark matter because:
– galaxies’ mass is way more than all the mass we can see an calculate
– stars that are farther away from Galaxies core should rotate slower in the orbit
– light should bend only when it comes near a galaxy, but there are also some area where light bends even though you do not see anything in there.

This is why the researchers concluded that there should be some kind of matter that exerts some gravitational pull on objects.

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Dark Matter is all around us

Yes. We are used to thinking that dark matter is somewhere far away and it just plays with the astronomers, but according to the theory dark matter is all around us. The minor issue is: how can we detect something that influences gravity, but cannot be detected with the tools we use.

Mostly we analyse something using some kind of radiation (X, gamma, IR, visible), or chemical interaction or mechanical interaction. But when the matter we are searching for is everywhere how can we use something that is outside it to be able to catch it. Interesting indeed.

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Dark matter rap – dance like it’s Universe’s deal

Dark matter is supposed to be the answer to about 80% of the mass of the Universe. The small issue is that is has gravity, but it does not reach with electromagnetic radiation and, thus, you cannot see it with naked eye or using radioastronomy tools.

Enjoy the dark matter rap. Someday, in the future, we’ll eat out lunch with freshly created dark matter spoons 😀

Via [GaS].


Black Holes and Dark Matter explained [video]

Today I had some free time so I roamed through some YouTube videos and stopped at these. They explain what black holes are and why dark matter is such an important concept for astrophysicists.

Black holes are cosmic objects so dense that not even light can escape from them if it gets too close. They have usually millions of solar masses and can eat up entire stars. Dark matter on the other hand is a term used to define a huge amount of mass of the Universe that is not composed of black holes, stars, comets, asteroids or plantes.

It is believed to be composed of WIMP or axions, subatomic particles that do not interact with light. Also, today (13th April 2012) Science Daily reports that the dark matter it could be composed of Majorana particles, named after italian physicist Ettore Majorana. Ettore deducted that the Majorana particle is at the border of matter and antimatter and that it is in itself particle and anti-particle.

This is getting weird. But nothing form quantum physics ever was “normal” 😀 So, enjoy the videos and let’s be happy that even Sci-Fi movies missed the incredible findings or today.

The Dark Matter Mystery: Stars Are Moving Too Fast

The Dark Matter Mystery: 39 Billion Missing Suns

The Dark Matter Mystery: Gravitational Lensing

The Dark Matter Mystery: Most Of The Universe Is Missing