Scientists from NASA described that the NASA’s Earth-orbiting Chandra telescope has found hints of a mysterious bump in a plot of X-rays which may correspond to the decaying dark matter.
These results from Milky Way’s halo explains some strange results reveal an excess of X-rays at a particular energy.
“This is a very exciting thing,” says astrophysicist Nico Cappelluti of Yale University, a coauthor of the report. “This is another measurement that sees the line in another direction.”
Dark matter is the unknown substance which constitutes most of the matter in the universe and this X-ray “line,” findings could reveal the presence of dark matter and its behavior.
“These results are different from the previously unsuccessful results from different telescopes to find the X-ray of dark matter.”
Cappelluti and colleagues demonstrated in the report that the consistent findings in relative intensity of the halo X-ray line which was expected similar to previously recorded intensities at the center of the Milky Way.
The analysis was taken by observing in deep compared to previously measurements pointing at a particular direction in space. He said that “if the signal indicated dark matter, it would be due to particles in the region surrounding the Milky Way, known as its halo.”
These findings were further explained by Shunsaku Horiuchi, an astroparticle physicist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. He says “dark matter isn’t the only possible explanation — standard physics might also be able to explain the line.
“There’s definitely a lot of debate,” but the line “looks like it’s real, but then I don’t know if it’s dark matter or some atomic physics.”
If these findings hold a stand and a small chance of being right it will help to find the further experiments on dark matter. The report says that the result could be a statistical fluke, the analysis eliminates some other possible explanations.
Cappelluti and colleagues determined that these X-ray lines could be a result of sulfur ions grabbing an electron from hydrogen atoms in space but was not in agreement to the process and explain the findings.
“It’s kind of getting other people excited,” says Horiuchi.
Reference: N. Cappelluti et al. Searching for the 3.5 keV line in the deep fields with Chandra: the 10 Ms observations. arXiv:1701.07932.