NASA’s Chandra satellite has detected a mysterious and distinctive signal from the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists claim this may point towards the existence of dark matter and help provide a proof of the same.
Researchers, who analysed the energy spectrum of X-rays, belonged to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in the US. They discovered that more X-ray photons with a particular energy would be expected if they were produced only by familiar processes.
Researchers said that the decay of dark matter particles may have been produced those photons. This is not the first time that scientists have seen extra photons with an energy of about 3,500 electron volts in the spectra recorded by X-ray satellites.
Kevork Abazajian, from the University of California, Irvine, said that it was not clear previously whether the bump or line that photons created in the otherwise smooth spectrum was merely an instrumental artefact.
Dark matter makes up more than 80 per cent of all the mass in the universe, according to scientists. Dark matter, gives off no light, but reveals its presence through the gravitational tug it exerts on stars within galaxies.
For years, physicists have been trying to detect particles of dark matter directly by intercepting them using instruments on Earth. The latest research, carried out by Nico Cappelluti at Yale, targets relatively light particles of dark matter, ‘BBC News’ reported.
Esra Bulbul of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the MIT was the first scientist to spot an anomalous line at 3.5 keV, when looking at the X-ray spectra of large numbers of galaxy clusters in 2014.
(With inputs from PTI)