In a recent study, scientists revealed that dark matter could heat up and move around in the Universe, as a consequence of the star formation process within galaxies. The research’s report was published yesterday in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Scientists from the University of Surrey, Carnegie Mellon University and ETH Zurich focused on the center of nearby dwarf galaxies in the search for dark matter. Dwarf galaxies are faint ones and usually orbit around bigger galaxies, such as the Large Magellanic Cloud or the Small Magellanic Cloud revolve around the Milky Way.
Dwarf galaxies are excellent candidates for studying dark matter and understand its particularities and its nature. Even though scientists believe that dark matter makes up about 85% of the Universe, this mysterious substance is not interacting with the light, meaning that is challenging for scientists to detect it without measuring its gravitational pull it exerts on nearby space objects.
Dark Mater Can Move Around In The Universe
During the stars formation process, strong winds can push gas and dust far from the center of the galaxies, leaving it with less mass. Accordingly, with less gravitational force in the cores of galaxies, dark matter gains energy and moves away from the center in a process known as “dark matter heating.”
“We found a truly remarkable relationship between the amount of dark matter at the centers of these tiny dwarfs, and the amount of star formation they have experienced over their lives. The dark matter at the centers of the star-forming dwarfs appears to have been ‘heated up’ and pushed out,” explained Professor Justin Read from the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey, and the study’s leading author.
“This study may be the “smoking gun” evidence that takes us a step closer to understanding what dark matter is. Our finding that it can be heated up and moved around helps to motivate searches for a dark matter particle,” added Professor Matthew Walker, the co-author of the study, from Carnegie Mellon University.
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