A new study is providing confirmation for the existence of dark matter in the deepest part of the Milky Way, including in our own cosmic neighbourhood and the Earth’s location. The study shows that a large quantity of dark matter is present around us, and also among us and the Galactic centre. The outcome constitutes a vital step forward in the search for the nature of dark matter.
The presence of dark matter in the outer parts of the Milky Way is well recognised. But generally it has proven very tough to establish the existence of dark matter in the deepest regions, where the Solar System is located. This is due to the trouble of measuring the rotation of gas and stars with the required accuracy from our own position in the Milky Way.
“In our new study, we got for the first time a direct observational evidence of the existence of dark matter in the deepest part of the Milky Way. We have produced the most comprehensive compilation so far of published measurements of the motion of gas and stars in the Milky Way, and likened the measured rotation speed with that probable under the supposition that only luminous matter exists in the Galaxy. The observed rotation cannot be described unless large amounts of dark matter exist around us, and among us and the Galactic centre”, says Miguel Pato at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University.
Dark matter is about five times more plentiful than the matter that we are familiar with, made of atoms. Its presence in galaxies was strongly recognized in the 1970s with a variety of techniques, including the measurement of the rotation speed of gas and stars, which offers a way to efficiently “weigh” the host galaxy and conclude its total mass.
“Our technique will allow for upcoming astronomical observations to calculare the distribution of dark matter in our Galaxy with unparalleled accuracy. This will allow us to refine our knowledge of the structure and evolution of our Galaxy, and it will activate more robust predictions for the many experiments worldwide that search for dark matter particles. The study therefore establishes a fundamental step forward in the quest for the nature of dark matter”, says Miguel Pato.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook