Gamma-ray evidence for dark matter weakens | Science News

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Gamma-ray evidence for dark matter weakens

Similar signals far from galactic center suggest original finding may be false alarm

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9:00am, April 24, 2017

GAMMA GLUT  Extra gamma rays from the center of the Milky Way, detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (shown), could be a sign of dark matter. But a new study doesn’t support that idea, finding that other parts of the galaxy also exhibit excess gamma rays.

A potential sign of dark matter is looking less convincing in the wake of a new analysis.

High-energy blips of radiation known as gamma rays seem to be streaming from the center of the Milky Way in excess. Some scientists have proposed that dark matter could be the cause of that overabundance. Particles of dark matter — an invisible and unidentified substance that makes up the bulk of the matter in the cosmos — could be annihilating in the center of the galaxy, producing gamma rays (SN Online: 11/4/14).

In the new study, scientists scrutinized the latest data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. At the galaxy’s center, the researchers found more gamma rays than they could explain, they report in a paper posted online April 12 at arXiv.org. But, when the researchers compared the region at the

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