For years astronomers have puzzled over an odd extra of gamma rays coming from the galactic middle. Annihilating darkish matter has at all times been a tantalizing clarification, and new analysis claims that it’s the very best reply.
For the final 11 years, NASA’s Fermi-LAT gamma-ray telescope has noticed an odd extra of the high-energy radiation coming from the route of our galactic middle. The origin of the gamma rays, that are comparatively diffuse across the core, at present has no good clarification.
Whereas potential explanations abound, maybe essentially the most intriguing is the concept that the gamma rays could also be emitted by darkish matter. In most fashions of darkish matter (the mysterious, invisible type of matter that makes up over 80% of the mass of the universe), the darkish matter particles can sometimes work together. Once they do, they annihilate one another in a flash of gamma rays.
This interplay solely occurs very, very not often. However fashions of darkish matter predict a complete bunch of the stuff within the cores of galaxies. Sufficient that it may mild up in gamma rays.
“The evaluation methodology used,” explains Mattia di Mauro, a researcher on the Turin division of the Nationwide Institute for Nuclear Physics and lead creator on the brand new examine, “has supplied very related details about the spatial distribution of extra gamma radiation, which may clarify what generates the surplus of high-energy photons within the Galactic middle.
If the surplus was, for instance, brought on by the interplay between cosmic rays and atoms, we might anticipate to look at its better spatial distribution at decrease energies and its decrease diffusion at greater energies as a result of propagations of cosmic particles. My examine, then again, underlines how spatial distribution of the surplus doesn’t change as a operate of power. This side had by no means been noticed earlier than and may very well be defined by darkish matter presence darkish matter interpretation. It is because we expect the particles composing the darkish matter halo ought to have related energies. The evaluation clearly exhibits that the surplus of gamma rays is concentrated within the Galactic middle, precisely what we might anticipate finding within the coronary heart of the Milky Means if darkish matter is actually a brand new sort of particle.”
The result’s removed from conclusive, nonetheless. Whereas darkish matter fashions may be coerced to elucidate the surplus, astronomers would want unbiased verification of this concept earlier than accepting it.