Is dark matter in danger? A few days after scientists said there’s no dark matter near our sun, a team of researchers in Germany now says there’s no dark matter in our galactic neighborhood. The team found a vast structure of globular clusters and satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way in a smooth, evenly distributed pattern. Most models of galactic distribution and evolution require the gravitational effects of dark matter, but in this model, it doesn’t seem to exist.
A dark matter particle smacks into an average person’s body about once a minute, and careens off oxygen and hydrogen nuclei in your cells, according to theoretical physicists. Dark matter is streaming through you as you read this, most of it unimpeded.
While the Large Hadron Collider prepares to fire up its proton beams and get back to particle smashing, another accelerator is dialing up the search for another elusive particle. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia is turning up its electron beams in search of “dark” or “heavy” photons, and in doing so they hope to unlock the secrets of the so-called “dark sector” where things like dark matter are thought to live.
An interesting piece in Universe Today over the weekend takes the dark matter out of the hunt for dark matter, but you're probably going to want to approach this one carefully--or as Universe Today says, "put on your skeptical goggles and set them to maximum." An Italian mathematician has done some creative number crunching and accounted for the force that holds galaxies together without the need for dark matter.
When the Euclid mission lifts off at the end of this decade, it will map galaxy clusters in infrared and visible light, helping to blueprint the large-scale structure of the universe. And a bunch of amateur science geeks who signed up for the competition will use their specialized skills to elucidate those findings.
The Mapping Dark Matter competition proves that Arabic handwriting analysis, glaciology and particle physics are more relevant to cosmology than anyone would have thought — and that when you ask people to solve problems for bragging rights, you get some very creative results.
The latest news from the Large Hadron Collider: scientists still cannot explain why we’re all here. In the most detailed analysis of strange beauty particles — that’s what they’re really called — physicists cannot find supersymmetric particles, which are shadow partners for every known particle in the standard model of modern physics. This could mean that they don’t exist, which would be very interesting news indeed.
Summertime may be the right time for unmasking dark matter. Researchers working on a dark matter experiment buried half a mile underground in a Minnesota mine say they've seen seasonally varying blips in electrical pulses that may be the telltale signs of WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles.
After a five-year study of 200,000 galaxies, scientists are more certain than ever that dark energy acts as a repulsive force, tearing the universe apart at an accelerating rate. The research confirms the idea that dark energy dominates gravity throughout the cosmos. But no one has any idea what dark energy actually is or how it works.
NASA's youngest space shuttle left Earth for the last time Monday, carrying a physics experiment and spare parts to the International Space Station. It was a bittersweet moment for shuttle followers who watched the shuttle's picture-perfect liftoff with the knowledge that there's only one of these left.
Commander Mark Kelly had some poignant words in the moments before ignition.
Friday’s space shuttle launch will be much more than the final hurrah for the shuttle Endeavour. Riding in its cargo bay is a massive and controversial physics experiment that could help answer some of the most confounding mysteries in science. With the delivery of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the space shuttle’s penultimate mission could turn out to be one of its greatest achievements.