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Royal Astronomical Society

Plenty of dark matter near the Sun

9 Aug 2012, 09:44 UTC
Plenty of dark matter near the Sun Dr A. Hobbs

Astronomers at the University of Z├╝rich, 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.
silvia@physik.uzh.ch (mailto:silvia@physik.uzh.ch)
Prof. Justin ReadTel: +41 76 200 5394justin.read@phys.ethz.ch (mailto:justin.read@phys.ethz.ch)
Media contact
Robert MasseyRoyal Astronomical SocietyMob: +44 (0)794 124 8035rm@ras.org.uk (mailto:rm@ras.org.uk)

Image and caption

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

Further information

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

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS, www.ras.org.uk (http://www.ras.org.uk)), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organizes scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3500 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.
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