Sci-tech

Earth is likely being hit by dark matter

Dark matter makes up 27% of universe, Earth is likely to being hit by it, as per scientists

By  Web Desk   |  
June 13, 2024
A representational image of the dark matter. — Nasa/File

The planet is being hit by waves of dark matter, which is the elusive stuff believed to make up 27% of the universe, as per the suggestion by the researchers, however, they have yet to observe this directly.

Radio waves detected in the Earth's ionosphere, the part of the upper atmosphere where UV and X-ray radiation from the Sun ionises atoms to create plasma, could be the result of particles interacting with dark matter, and therefore a great place to hunt for the evasive substance, as per the European authors of a yet-to-be-published paper and explored by the science communicator extraordinaire Paul Sutter in a piece for Live Science.

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Decades of research are likely to be taken by this intriguing, though, speculative theory in order to prove itself. Nonetheless, potentially putting to rest one of the biggest unanswered questions about the universe that persists today, the prize is certainly worth playing for.

Several candidates for dark matter have been proposed by the scientists over the years, including extremely massive particles called "Weakly Interacting Massive Particles" (WIMPs) or extremely light ones called "axions."

Thanks to axions' highly unusual lightness, these hypothetical particles may act more like "large waves that slosh around the cosmos," as Sutter explained.

"This form of dark matter is highly theoretical, and it would take years, if not decades, to perfect the observation technique to search for these radio waves," Sutter concluded. "But if it works, it would be a gold mine, allowing us to study one of the most mysterious elements in the universe right on our cosmic doorstep."


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