Dark Matter Discovery – Sun streaming Axions

dark matter discovery

Space scientists make an important dark matter discovery by detecting dark matter particles, axions, streaming from the sun.

Dark matter is the mysterious substance that makes up the brunt of our universe. It’s notoriously difficult to detect since it almost only interacts with regular matter through gravity. Without the force of dark matter, rotating galaxies would be flung apart just from the force of rotation. The problem with this weird matter is that we need it for our models of the universe to work. Now some new findings might have found direct evidence of dark matter.

Dark Matter Discovery – Axions flowing from the Sun

Space scientists at the University of Leicester have detected changes in X-ray radiation intensity in the sky. This signal might come from axions, a dark matter particle, hitting our planet’s magnetic field.

The basis of this finding is data collected from the XMM-Newton observatory in orbit. The observatory found that intensity of X-rays increased by about 10% when observing the part of the earth’s magnetic field pointing toward the sun. Something was hitting the magnetic field and creating X-rays as a result. This was unusual since researchers expected radiation to be even everywhere after discounting strong X-ray sources like stars and galaxies. Scientists looked at every aspect of traditional physics trying to explain this, without succeeding. Looking elsewhere they concluded that the peak in X-ray intensity could be explained by a theoretical dark matter particle called an axion.

So is this the official dark matter discovery?

The researchers say that these findings are tentative and could take years to confirm. In a few years scientists expect to have even more data to analyze this event in more detail. What is clear is that this might be our first direct evidence of a specific dark matter particle.

Image credit: University of Leicester.