High energy collisions around the black hole at the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way, may be ‘smoking gun’ evidence of dark matter, the elusive substance which makes up two thirds of the galaxy.
Sciencitts have spent decades trying to find and even recreate it – but still have no conclusive proof it even exists.
However, Christoph Weniger of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich now believes he may have found the first concrete evidence.
Researchers say a pair of enormous gamma-ray-emitting bubbles extending outwards from the plane of the Milky Way could hold the key to the discovery.
By carrying out statistical analysis of three and a half years worth of publicly available data from NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope, he believes he may have spotted a tell-tale sign of exotic particles within the Milky Way.
If proved to be real, this ‘gamma-ray line’ would, he claims, be a ‘smoking-gun signature’ of dark matter.
Experts agree that supermassive black holes, like the one at the center of the Milky Way, release jets that interact with surrounding dark matter.
This interaction is thought to be the source of high-energy gamma rays that satellites like Fermi can detect. What the satellites can see are the photons produced when these jets interact with dark matter.
After analysing three years of data, Weniger claims to have found a provisional result which shows a peak in energy, which shows up as a a line in the gamma ray spectrum.
This, he claims, could be proof of dark matter interacting with the jets.
However, scientists admit more work is needed to prove the theory. …