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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Origin of Milky Way’s Hypothetical Dark Matter Signal May Not Be So Dark

2 May 2017, 15:00 UTC
Origin of Milky Way’s Hypothetical Dark Matter Signal May Not Be So Dark NASA/CXC/University of Massachusetts/D. Wang et al.; Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A mysterious gamma-ray glow at the center of the Milky Way is most likely caused by pulsars – the incredibly dense, rapidly spinning cores of collapsed ancient stars that were up to 30 times more massive than the sun. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis by an international team of astrophysicists, including researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The findings cast doubt on previous interpretations of the signal as a potential sign of dark matter – a form of matter that accounts for 85 percent of all matter in the universe but that so far has evaded detection.

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