July 2, 2014 (TSR) – Astrophysicists have spotted a mysterious signal in X-ray data from a study of galaxy clusters, and they consider the X-rays might have been created by the decay of sterile neutrinos, a kind of particle suggested as a nominee for dark matter.
Dark matter creates 85 percent of the matter in the cosmos, however it doesn’t release or grip light like protons and neutrons, the “normal” matter that create the planets and stars. That’s why researchers use indirect approaches to examine unseen dark matter signs; its gravitational effect on the arrangements and form of objects like galaxies can be spotted.
The mysterious X-ray signal was discovered in a fresh study of the Perseus galaxy cluster by means of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and 73 clusters by ESA’s XMM-Newton.
Perseus is one of the maximum massive objects in the cosmos, comprising thousands of galaxies in a mist of superheated hydrogen gas. At above 10 million degrees Celsius, that gas is warm enough to release X-rays. The photo of Perseus below chains 17 days’ worth of data taken over a period 10 years.
The new outcomes contain an anonymous X-ray emission stripe: a spike in intensity at a very precise wavelength of X-ray light. In this situation, it was focused on nearly 3.56 kiloelectron volts (keV). The emission line might be a signature from the decay of these theoretical sterile neutrinos, which are expected to interrelate with normal matter only through gravity. Here’s a different sight of Perseus, merging data from Chandra in the internal areas of the cluster and XMM data in the external areas.
Esra Bulbul of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics states in an ESA news announcement “If this strange signal had been caused by a known element present in the gas, it should have left other signals in the X-ray light at other well-known wavelengths, but none of these were recorded,”
She augments in a NASA announcement: “We know that the dark matter explanation is a long shot, but the pay-off would be huge if we’re right.” However doubts flourish: The finding of the emission line pushed the sensitivity capabilities of both telescopes, and it’s conceivable that normal matter in the cluster might have formed the emission line. Bulbul’s group displayed a preprint on arXiv, the openly available database.
A week after it appeared on the online on arXiv, a group directed by Alexey Boyarsky of Leiden University in the Netherlands engaged a paper there reporting proof for an emission line at the equal energy in XMM-Newton observations of the galaxy M31 and the borders of the Perseus cluster, supporting the proof that the emission line is actual.
Their next stage is to syndicate data from Chandra with JAXA’s Suzaku to tell if they can discover the same X-ray signal.