Another clue in the case for dark matter | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Another clue in the case for dark matter

The Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope hasn't ruled out earlier findings

By
12:23pm, May 2, 2009

DENVER — Using a sensitive detector to survey the abundance of high-energy electrons and positrons in nearby reaches of space, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found new evidence that may hint at the existence of dark matter, the exotic invisible material believed to make up 85 percent of the mass of the universe.

The measurements, reported May 2 at a meeting of the American Physical Society and also online May 4 in Physical Review Letters, bolster the possibility that another orbiting observatory called PAMELA (for Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) did indeed see indirect signs of dark matter (SN: 9/27/08, p. 8), which has eluded detection ever since astronomers first proposed the material more than 75 years ago.

But it’s also possible that many of the energetic electrons and positrons Fermi recorded might instead

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content