The dark side of the force, #iss #darkmatter

As Yoda tells us “the dark side of the force is strong in this one.”

Add up all the mass in the stars, planets, asteroids, dust – anything that we can call an object. Then compare that total to the amount of mass expected from other sources of data (specifically look at how things move and then figure how how much stuff must be around to make it move). It turns out that there is a lot of missing mass in the universe – 95% is unaccounted for. One postulated source of this missing mass is a form of stuff that we cannot see, matter that does not interact with light in the usual way. Dark Matter

Now a new discovery from the international space station may shed some light on this dark subject. As reported on earthsky.org
http://earthsky.org/space/space-based-particle-detector-hints-at-dark-matter

“One of the great discoveries of the coming century will be the direct detection of dark matter. This mysterious substance, thought to compose some 23% of the mass of our universe, is currently one of the most-sought substances in existence, the source of thousands of scientific papers and endless hours of speculation over the last half of the last century, despite the fact that it has not yet been directly detected. Now an analysis of 41 billion cosmic rays striking a state-of-the-art instrument called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) particle detector aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may have come close to detecting dark matter. It shows:

… an unexpected excess of cosmic-ray antielectrons (positrons) relative to electrons.

One possible explanation is that:

…the positrons are being created in annihilations of dark matter particles.

MIT physicist Sam Ting, who leads the experiment, said in a news release from Europe’s CERN particle physics center:”

In other words, this this excess of one type of particle may be the signature of the illusion dark matter.

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9 comments on “The dark side of the force, #iss #darkmatter

  1. This is really cool, if we can find out what this dark matter is, it opens up so much more knowledge about our universe. I can totally believe that we don’t know what 95% of the universe is, it is so incredibly massive. But finding that 23% of dark matter will be really fascinating.

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  2. The direct detection of it will certainly help us explain more about our Universe and how we came into existence. Also may help us to create better technology to further explore the cosmos.

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  3. The fact that particles are being detected from dark matter can one day explain how the Universe was made and how it could be changing. Back before there were stars to give light, dark matter most likely existed and that is why it does not respond to light today. The more we discover about this phenomenal subject, the closer we can get to answering how the Universe came to be with fact and detail.

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  4. It’s amazing that we are “missing” 95% of the mass in the universe. It’s not that it’s lost per se, just not something that hasn’t been directly detected. We are on the trail of this dark matter and will know doubt explain it in great detail, while in the process more discoveries will be made. Looking forward to the next discovery.

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  5. It is pretty interesting how they are using a spectrometer to figure out dark matter. I wonder how they are using the spectrometer to find out the dark matter, because I know you use wavelengths that detects a certain object.

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  6. Dark matter? INCREDIBLE. As we start to discover this dark matter, more information will be given to us. As our universe expands more and more matter will be created. Its interesting that only a small part of matter are from planets, stars, etc. Cant wait what is out there for us to discover.

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  7. After clicking on the link and reading more, it’s interesting to find out that only four percent of the universe is composed of regular matter like planets, stars and us. Just another perspective as to how minuscule the earth and our own solar system actually is on the grand scheme of the universe.

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  8. It’s so interesting to find out that we have known about dark mass but have not been able to directly detect it. Do you think that because of the technology we have now helps to find out more about this discovery?

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  9. The fact that dark matter is still somewhat of a mystery to us but makes up 23% of the mass of our universe is interesting to me. I would like to see what the future discovery of dark matter brings to the table.

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