Astronomers at the University of Zürich, the ETH Zurich, the University of Leicester and NAOC Beijing have found large amounts of invisible "dark matter" near the Sun. Their results are consistent with the theory that the Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a massive "halo" of dark matter, but this is the first study of its kind to use a method rigorously tested against mock data from high quality simulations. The authors also find tantalising hints of a new dark matter component in our Galaxy. The team's results will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Prof. Justin ReadTel: +41 76 200 firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)
Robert MasseyRoyal Astronomical SocietyMob: +44 (0)794 124 firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)
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An image from the simulation can be downloaded fromhttp://www.astro.phys.ethz.ch/~jread/Press/mw_hr_00260_disk.jpg (http://www.astro.phys.ethz.ch/~jread/Press/mw_hr_00260_disk.jpg)
Caption: The high resolution simulation of the Milky Way used to test the mass-measuring technique. Credit: Dr A. Hobbs
The new work appears in: "A new determination of the local dark matter density from the kinematics of K dwarfs", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, in press. A preprint of the paper is available from http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.0015v2.pdf (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.0015v2.pdf)
Notes for editors
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