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Case for Axion Origin of Dark Matter Gains Traction

29 Jun 2020, 21:10 UTC
Case for Axion Origin of Dark Matter Gains Traction
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IMAGE: This image from the Hubble Space Telescope indicates that a huge ring of dark matter likely exists surrounding the center of CL0024+17 that has no normal matter counterpart. What is visible in the above image, first and foremost, are many spectacular galaxies that are part of CL0024+17 itself, typically appearing tan in color. Next, a close inspection of the cluster center shows several unusual and repeated galaxy shapes, typically more blue. These are multiple images of a few distant galaxies, showing that the cluster is a strong gravitational lens. The relatively weak distortions of the many distant faint blue galaxies all over the image, however, indicates the existence of the dark matter ring. CREDIT: Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. J. Jee and H. Ford et al. (Johns Hopkins Univ.)

Since the 1930s, astronomers have known that there is invisible stuff out there that is gravitationally affecting its surroundings while neither absorbing nor emitting light. For the past many, many years, scientists have been looking for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) that could explain this missing mass. So far nothing has been found, and many, many theories have been ruled out as these massive particles fail to show up in ...

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