‘Best evidence yet’ for dark matter comes from Milky Way centre

Published in Physics World, 29 Oct 2010

Energetic radiation pulsing from the belly of the Milky Way is the clearest signal yet of dark matter. That is according to a pair of astrophysicists in the US who reach this conclusion after scrutinising the public data collected by NASA’s orbiting Fermi Observatory. “I certainly think it’s the best evidence we’ve seen so far,” says Dan Hooper, one half of the team, based at the University of Chicago.

It is a huge claim because for over 70 years astrophysicists have debated the existence of dark matter, which is thought to make up 80% of the universe’s mass, yet they have failed to gather any definitive evidence, either direct or indirect, for its existence. But with several hints for dark matter published in recent years – all received with scrutiny by the wider astrophysics community – the US pair will have a hard time convincing others that their signal is what they think it is. […]

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