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Dark matter

Analysis and Comment (12)

This artist’s impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The blue halo of material surrounding the galaxy indicates the expected distribution of the mysterious dark matter. This artist’s impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The blue halo of material surrounding the galaxy indicates the expected distribution of the mysterious dark matter. ESO/L. Calçada

Dark matter and the Milky Way: more little than large

While invisible, dark matter completely dominates our Milky Way. But recent measurements of just how much dark matter there is have revealed a bit of a mystery. In a paper published today in the Astrophysical…
Scary but fascinating. Scary but fascinating. NASA and M. Weiss (Chandra X -ray Center)

From black holes to dark matter, an astrophysicist explains

Katherine Mack, astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne, answered questions posed by the public on Reddit. The Conversation has curated the highlights. Dark Matter How do you explain dark matter…
Virgo consortium: the web that holds the galaxies together. Virgo consortium: the web that holds the galaxies together. Rich Murray

Filaments that bind galaxies together illuminated by a quasar

According to cosmologists, galaxies are joined together by filaments, quite literally. These filaments form the cosmic web and are made of mostly dark matter, many stars and some gas. Observing these filaments…
Dark matter is still a bit of mystery. Dark matter is still a bit of mystery. Fractured Studios

Dark matter experiment finds nothing, makes news

A US team with a highly sensitive dark matter detector has just finished its first run. It has found nothing, and that is still big news. Physicists can explain accurately the behaviour of what makes matter…
The made up mysteries of dark matter may now be not needed. The made up mysteries of dark matter may now be not needed. ESO/L. Calçada

New theory of general relativity casts doubt on dark matter

Astronomers have been searching for a mysterious substance called “dark matter” since the 1930s. Most scientists still believe it exists, despite many fruitless decades. Now we propose a new theory of…
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has produced results consistent with the presence of dark matter. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has produced results consistent with the presence of dark matter. NASA

New light on dark matter: space station magnet attracts praise

Nobel prizewinner Samuel Ting, early this morning (AEDT), announced the first results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) search for dark matter. The findings, published in Physical Review Letters…
Knowing where cosmic rays don’t come from brings scientists another step closer to determining their origin. Knowing where cosmic rays don’t come from brings scientists another step closer to determining their origin. NSF/J. Yang

An extragalactic mystery: where do high-energy cosmic rays come from?

It’s been the defining question of high-energy astrophysics for the past century: where do cosmic rays come from? New findings from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole have brought us closer…
If the signs are right, fundamental equations of cosmology may need altering. If the signs are right, fundamental equations of cosmology may need altering. waljoris

Is life on Earth due to a quirk in the laws of physics?

A radical discovery by my colleagues and I – reported this week in Physical Review Letters – could help explain why it was possible for life (at least as we know it) to develop on Earth, but not in other…
What tasty treats await astronomers in the next few decades? What tasty treats await astronomers in the next few decades? Lea/Flickr

An eye to the future of astronomy … a cosmic pick ‘n’ mix

Predicting the future is a mug’s game. When I reflect back on what we thought we knew at the start of my research career in the mid-1990s, I sound like a wizened octogenarian, recalling a simpler time…
The universe teems with energy and matter we don’t understand. The universe teems with energy and matter we don’t understand. stuant63/Flickr

Adventures in the dark side of cosmology

In questioning the fundamental nature of the universe, cosmology regularly grabs the public’s attention. But in an era in which we are observing deeper and more widely than ever before, our knowledge of…
Scientists believe dark matter makes up 23% of the universe. Scientists believe dark matter makes up 23% of the universe. NASA

New chatter on dark matter

Dark matter has worked its way back into the news in the last few days with the completion of a detection experiment in a tunnel deep under the Italian Alps. Researchers from Columbia University used a…
Viewed from afar, the Milky Way might appear similar to the galaxy known as NGC 7331. Viewed from afar, the Milky Way might appear similar to the galaxy known as NGC 7331. R. Jay GaBany/NASA

Explainer: a beginner’s guide to the galaxy

Where are we within our galaxy? How did our galaxy form? How did it evolve over the aeons? Astronomers have been asking these questions for the past century, and have recently begun discerning the answers…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (4)

Dark matter core challenges theories

The collision of several, massive galaxy clusters has left behind a clump of dark matter, potentially challenging existing…