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Antiproton count hints at dark matter annihilation

New analyses of data from Space Station’s AMS experiment show signs of elusive cosmic mass

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5:27pm, May 11, 2017
AMS experiment

ANTIPROTON ODDITY Two teams of researchers report possible signs of dark matter in data from the AMS experiment on the International Space Station (shown). Some of the antiprotons detected by AMS could have come from dark matter particles annihilating one another in space.

Whiffs of dark matter may be blowing in on a cosmic ray breeze. Antiprotons streaming down on Earth from space could be hinting at the existence of the invisible substance, two teams of researchers suggest.

Particles known as cosmic rays are constantly whizzing through space. These particles include protons and their antimatter partners, antiprotons. While antiprotons are produced in run-of-the-mill processes like particle collisions, additional ones could theoretically be birthed when dark matter particles annihilate one another.

In two papers in the May 12 Physical Review Letters, the two teams — one from Germany; the other from China and Taiwan — analyzed antiprotons detected by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, located on the International Space Station. When dark matter’s

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