Dark matter in center of Milky Way hints interaction with visible matter through forces other than gravity

Studying more about dark matter in the center of galaxy could help to unveil several mysteries of the universe

Dark matter is one of the most mysterious entities in the universe, and experts believe that this mysterious matter forms nearly 95 percent of the universe. Earlier, MIT scientists had suggested that the bright gamma rays present in the center of Milky Way could be the indication of dark matter's presence there.

Now, scientists have reignited studies surrounding this possibility, and they believe studying more about these gamma rays, the most energetic waves in the electromagnetic spectrum could unveil more staggering details about the universe, and the way in which it exists.

Glow of gamma rays at Milky Way's center

Gamma rays are found across the Milky Way's disc, and for the most part, physicists understand their sources. However, there is a strange glow of gamma rays at the Milky Way's center, known as the galactic center excess (GCE). The properties of GCE are difficult for physicists to explain. However, experts believe that there are two leading possibilities behind the production of this excess -- population of rapidly rotating neutron stars or a concentrated cloud of dark matter.

In the new study, using various models, researchers assume that pulsars were at the heart of the excess. However, they did not rule out the existence of dark matter there, as they found some indications that hints at the presence of this mysterious entity.

"It's exciting in that we thought we had eliminated the possibility that this is dark matter. But now there's a loophole, a systematic error in the claim we made. It reopens the door for the signal to be coming from dark matter," said Slatyer, a researcher who led the study, in a recent statement.

dark matter
Composite image of the Perseus galaxy cluster using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton and Hitomi, a Japanese-led X-ray telescope. X-ray: NASA/CXO/Fabian

As the existence of dark matter in the center of Milky Way still baffles scientists, Rebecca Leane, co-researcher of this study revealed that the confirmation on dark matter at the center of galaxy could provide the first evidence of dark matter interacting with visible matter through forces other than gravity.

"The nature of dark matter is one of the biggest open questions in physics at the moment. Identifying this signal as the dark matter may allow us to finally expose the fundamental identity of dark matter. No matter what the excess turns out to be, we will learn something new about the universe," added Leane.

Is it dark matter or dark fluid?

A few months back, Jamie Farnes, a researcher at the University of Oxford had suggested that more than 95 percent of the universe is made up of a dark fluid with negative mass. Experts believe that this new concept, the existence of dark fluid could solve two mysteries of space, why galaxies hold together, and why the universe is expanding.

Related topics : Milky way