US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have discovered an effect that may indicate that part of the gamma radiation of the universe is emitted by dark matter.
The achievement is described in a scientific article published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Recall that scientists are aware of the existence of dark matter due to its gravity. The effects caused by the gravitation of this substance are so numerous and varied that there is practically no doubt about its existence. According to researchers, approximately 85% of the mass of matter in the universe is dark matter.
At the same time, it remains unknown what it consists of. Specialists have reason to believe that these are not atomic nuclei and electrons, but particles unknown to science.
Astronomers seek to catch some kind of radiation coming from dark matter in order to find out its nature. However, so far these searches have not been crowned with confident success.
An international team of 57 scientific organizations made a new attempt to find an electromagnetic signal from a mysterious substance.
The experts used data from the Fermi gamma telescope for nine years. In this case, the scientists were not interested in the radiation of well-known space objects, but in the gamma-ray background, which observers cannot relate to individual sources.
They also turned to images of 40 million galaxies, taken by the four-meter optical telescope named after Victor Blanco.
Optical observations make it possible to compile a map of the distribution of mass in space (without separation into ordinary and dark matter). The gravitational lensing effect helps in this: gravity bends the trajectories of light coming from distant galaxies.
The researchers found a correlation between the distribution of mass and background gamma radiation. This effect was expected: in the end, gamma-rays are emitted by matter, whether it be objects familiar to astronomers or something unknown. Naturally, where there is more matter, there is more radiation.
But what is the nature of its sources? To answer this question, the researchers conducted a computer simulation. In the end, they concluded that most of the gamma rays emitted by blazars . But what about the smaller one?
It is possible, the authors say, that it comes from dark matter. More precisely, these gamma rays can be emitted during the annihilation of WIMPs (hypothetical heavy particles) with their antiparticles. Recall that wimps are one of the main candidates for the role of dark matter particles.
At least, the model including such radiation corresponded better to observational data than the scheme that takes into account only sources of gamma rays known to astronomers.
However, it’s too early to open champagne. It is possible that scientists do not quite accurately imagine the physics of blazars and other “factories” of gamma rays and therefore underestimate their contribution to the background. The point in this matter can only put future research.
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