New data from the NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope show that the center of our galaxy produces far greater amounts of high gamma ray energy, the origin of which can probably be explained by recourse to the mysterious dark matter.
A team of scientists led by astrophysicist Dan Hooper of the U.S. Fermi National Laboratory (Fermilab) said that the new study of gamma radiation in the galactic center is the strongest evidence that at least a part of this powerful energy emission comes from the invisible dark matter. This unknown substance that makes up a large part of the material universe (almost 80%) is much greater than the visible matter. Dark and normal matter interact gravitationally, since great amounts of dark matter attract normal matter, thus creating a foundation upon which the galaxies are ‘built’.
The hitherto known sources of gamma rays in the center of our galaxy include interacting binary systems of stars, rapidly rotating neutron stars (pulsars), remnants of supernova explosions (supernovae), dwarf galaxies and particles that collide in the interstellar gas.
In this very area, which extends circumferentially up to 5,000 light years from the galactic center, the astrophysicists suspect that there is also a higher density of dark matter, about the true identity of which nobody knows anything (it has been proposed that it consists of subatomic particles WIMPs, the collisions and decays between which produce strong gamma radiation).
The results of the study were published in the journal «Physical Review D».