According to a recent article, the Earth is captured directly at the cross of the cosmic hurricane. Nearly 100 stars, accompanied by an even greater portion of the dark matter, are heading directly into our star surroundings, and we can not stop it; in fact, the vanguard is already upon us. It sounds like a perfect summer blast movie, where The Rock and Chris Pratt or Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron are playing.
Besides, it's real. But is that a danger? Actually no. Not at all. But it is incredibly fascinating, with many interesting scientific links. What's going on?
Accidents, disasters and security
Heavenly bodies and objects
Planets and moons
Universe and astronomy
The story begins in April when Gaia announced the location and trajectory of two billion stars around the Milky Way around our sun. Data published to the public.
Scientists were then able to look at the dataset to see if they could discover something special. In a galaxy such as the Milky Way, the most common behavior is that the stars are circling around the center of the galaxy in a way that is generally similar to the planets orbiting our sun. However, there are some stars that show unusual movement. About a year ago, astronomers identified some "star currents" passing through a celestial neighbor.
One of them, called S1 (for Stream 1), consists of nearly 100 stars of similar age and composition, orbiting around the Milky Way in a direction exactly opposite the normal star. It's kind of like a few drives that drive badly along the highway, except for a much larger distance between them and no danger of collision. These stars stretch over several thousand light-years and within several million years the neighboring solar systems pass.
Astronomers identified S1 as part of the dwarf galaxy, which collided with the Milky Way and was consumed in an epic episode of cosmic cannibalism. Dwarf galaxies are very small, typically about 1% of the Milky Way mass. They can circle larger galaxies and gather with a larger galaxy and add their mass to their parents. This seems to have happened in the case of S1, although the process lasted about a billion years.
Dwarf galaxies often have disproportionately large amounts of dark matter. Dark matter is a hypothetical and yet undiscovered form of matter that only interacts gravitationally. Scientists have suggested their existence to explain many astronomical secrets, such as observing that most galaxies are rotating faster than can be explained by the known laws of physics and the stars and gases they are composed of.
While dark matter has not yet been observed, the hypothesis of its existence is the simplest and most economical explanation for countless astronomical mysteries. Worldwide, the dark matter is five times more common than the ordinary mass of stars, gas and planets.
In dwarf galaxies, the fraction of dark matter is often higher. In Fornax, a well-studied dwarf galaxy circling the Milky Way, scientists estimate that the dark matter is between 10 and 100 times larger than the mass found in its stars.
If this number is true for S1, the dark mass of S1 flows through the Earth at a much higher rate than the ordinary dark matter that circles around the Milky Way – about two times faster. It is assumed that S1 dark matter flies through the solar system at about 550 km / s, which is about 1.2 million Mph. While these numbers are impressive, they are misleading. Dark matter, if any, is extremely scattered and will have no significant impact on the solar system.
Because dark matter has not yet been observed, these speeds are speculative, although they are strongly supported by a great deal of evidence. However, the view of the high velocity of dark matter flying on the ground suggests an opportunity to reveal it.
In a paper in the prestigious journal Physical Review D, researcher Ciaran O'Hare and his colleagues calculated the possibilities of discovering dark matter using both current and proposed dark matter detectors. They considered two varieties of dark matter particles: a very heavy species called WIMP (a weakly interacting massive particle) and a very light kind called axion. Since the ultimate nature of dark matter is not known, it is important that it is open to all possibilities.
They found that the detectors they evaluated could find WIMP for certain particle mass ranges. However, when they looked at the possibility of Axion, it seemed that the prospects were even better. Due to its light weight and the way axion interacts with the detector, the device simply has a greater chance of seeing axion. (Of course there are axions).
Experiments with names such as ADMX, MADMAX and ABRACADABRA are able or will be able to search for dark signatures designed in recent work. They consist of technologies that are designed to work with axons in a strong magnetic field and convert them into common microwaves or radio waves that can be easily recognized.
It is important to realize that S1 does not pose any credible threat to Earth and humanity. It does not require any action hero to save us. But the synergy of science is stunning. An in-depth catalog of nearby stars has opened the prospect of a better chance of finding and identifying dark matter, one of the great unanswered secrets of modern physics. It is an amazing time in which we live in which we can study such things.
I am excited.