Best dark matter signal yet hints at heftier particles
Things are looking brighter than ever for dark matter. A brilliant haze of gamma rays coming from the centre of the Milky Way is increasingly likely to be a sign of dark matter particles annihilating each other in space. Meanwhile, hints of the same signal coming from dwarf galaxies now strengthen the case.
“This is the most compelling signal we’ve had for dark matter particles – ever,” says Dan Hooper at the Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.
Hooper and his colleagues have been studying this signal since 2009, steadily building the case that dark matter is the cause. In the latest work, the team say the particle must be heavier than they first thought, bringing it in line with some of the simplest theories of dark matter. But there is a twist: a heavier particle would be in conflict with whiffs of the elusive substance from experiments trying to directly detect the particles.
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