In today’s astrobite, we discuss the puzzling results from the AMS-02 experiment, which has detected an excess of positrons in cosmic rays with respect to what we expect from known physical sources. Where are those positrons coming from?
The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment has found signatures in its data consistent with a dark matter Weakly Interacting Massive Particle. While not confident enough to declare a dark matter discovery, they estimate that there is only a 0.2% chance that these signatures are caused by random chance.
The quest for identifying the dark matter particle is well underway. Today, we discuss the work of the ANTARES collaboration, which is using a neutrino telescope to search for signals of dark matter annihilation in the Sun.
If WIMPs are the solution to the dark matter problem, it’s reasonable to ask what sort of impact they would have on human beings. This paper answers that question.
In previous astrobites posts, we’ve talked about using microlensing to find planets and to detect dark matter in other galaxies. However, one of the earliest applications of microlensing was a bit closer to home: the detection of compact objects in the dark matter halo of our own galaxy. We know there is a lot more mass in galaxies, including our own, than what we can see. Dark matter comprises more than 80% of the matter in our Universe, but what is it really comprised of?
This eye-catching theory paper asks an elegant but simple question: when dark matter is gravitationaly captured by a planet, can the energy released when it annihalates provide enough heat to make the planet habitable?