How do you learn something invisible? This is the challenge facing studying astronomers Dark matter.
Although dark matter contains 85% of all matter in the universe, it does not react with light. It can only be seen by the influence of gravity on light and other things. To make matters worse, attempts to directly detect dark matter on Earth have so far failed.
Despite the vague quality of the dark matter, we learned a lot about it.
We know it’s not cold, it’s cold. As a result, it clusters together to form the seeds of galaxy clusters. It often forms hollows around galaxies, forming the bulk of the mass of a galaxy.
However, there are still many unanswered questions about dark matter, so astronomers often develop new models for dark matter, comparing them to observations to test their accuracy.
One way to do this is through complex computer simulations.
A team from the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics recently conducted a detailed simulation of the universe of dark matter, which yielded some amazing results.
The accuracy of any dark matter simulation depends on your assumptions about dark matter. In this case, the team assumed it contained dark matter Weakly reacting giant particles (WIMPs) With 100 times the mass of a proton.
WIMPs are one of the most popular theories of dark matter. WIMP has done similar computer simulations of dark matter before. However, it is very high in resolution and emulates features across thirty orders.
In this simulation, as we observe, dark matter forms in the halos around the galaxies. Interestingly, however, halos were found to have evolved on all mass scales, from small, planetary-mass halos to galaxy haloes to giant haloes that form around clusters of galaxies.
These hollows have a similar structure where they are denser to the center and extend more along their edges. The fact that it occurs on all scales makes it a distinctive feature of dark matter.
Although small haloes are too small to detect light under the influence of gravity, they can tell us how dark matter reacts on its own. One idea about dark matter is that when dark matter particles collide, they emit gamma radiation.
Some gamma-ray observations a Gamma ray from the center of our galaxy, which can be caused by dark matter. In this particular model, most of the gamma radiation produced by dark matter comes from small halos.
Because the magnitude of a halo affects the spectral energy spectrum of gamma rays, this model makes specific predictions about the gamma-ray excess we should see in the Milky Way and other galaxies.
Dark matter is one of the biggest unresolved problems in modern astronomy.
Simulations like this are one of our most powerful tools for better understanding dark matter, even if we want to find it directly.
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