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Glow in the Dark Matter: Dark Matter Not So Dark?

The main feature of dark matter is that it remains undetectable(invisible) to telescopes. But that doesn’t mean that dark matter can’t sometimes intermingle with light. Scientists have now studied the prospect that dark matter distributes star light, creating a potentially visible luminosity around galaxies. The group found no definite indication of this “light halo,” but they claim that extended wavelength interpretations could offer a chance to “see” dark matter. Astronomers conclude the presence of dark matter from motion of galaxy. Rotating galaxies, for instance, would apparently fly apart if not for gigantic clouds of massive particles attaching them in place. The mutual supposition is that these particles have zero contact with light, but some models do picture that dark matter can decay into photons or distribute photons in unusual cases.
Artistic illustration of dark matter. Image credits: tchaikovsky2, Deviant Art

Joseph Silk and Jonathan Davis from the Institute of Astrophysics of Paris, France, examine a probable sign of dark matter in scattered light. They take, Pinwheel galaxy M101, as a illustrative example the matter, which is a well-studied spiral galaxy situated 21 million light years away from us. They picture light emerging out of the galaxy and bouncing off of dark matter in the external boundary. This scattered light would generate a glimmering around the galaxy—a bit like the glimmering around a lamp encircled by fog. Such a glimmering is already witnessed at visible wavelengths by the Dragonfly telescope array, but as it could come completely from other causes, for example dust and isolated stars, there is presently no way to confirm that dark matter makes any influence. Nevertheless, Davis and Silk spectacle that astronomers might have a better chance of spotting a dark matter glow at infrared wavelengths, where backgrounds are inferior but no such type observations have yet been taken with enough understanding.

This research paper was published in Physical ReviewLetters.

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