“Beyond the Edge of the Milky Way” –Dark Energy Probe Hints at an Enormous Invisible Halo of Dark Matter

Galaxy NGC 474

 

One early result of the ongoing Dark Energy Survey is the previously untold story revealed by old, giant RR Lyrae pulsating stars, which tell scientists about the region of space beyond the edge of our Milky Way. In this area nearly devoid of stars–the motion of the RR Lyrae stars hints at the presence of an enormous halo of invisible dark matter, which may provide clues to how our galaxy evolved over the last 12 billion years.

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Elusive Relics of the Big Bang –“Dark Matter is Composed of Primordial Black Holes”

Primordial Black Holes

 

“Ancient black holes would give us access to physics we would never otherwise be able to do,” wrote Dan Hooper, head of the theoretical astrophysics group at Fermilab, in an email to The Daily Galaxy. If primordial black holes are real, they’d have potential to solve a whole host of the biggest problems in cosmology, not the least being the mystery of dark matter, considered to be the backbone to the structure of the universe.

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“Defying the Laws of Gravity” –Does a ‘Smoking Gun’ Nix Dark Matter Theory?

Dark Matter

 

In the early 1980’s Israeli physicist Mordehai Milgrom from Weizmann Institute proposed a new theory, “the smoking gun” –a new theory of the universe’s structure that offers the most plausible alternative yet to dark matter– that defied the laws of gravity suggesting that galaxies are governed by modified dynamics rather than obeying the laws of Newton and of general relativity. “This theory became known as MOND for modified Newtonian Dynamics, Milgromian Dynamics, or “modified gravity”–a viable explanation for a cosmological dilemma: that galaxies appear to defy the long-accepted rules of gravity traced to Sir Isaac Newton in the late 1600’s. In short, the mathematics of gravity may hint at weirder phenomena than many thought.

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Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines –“The Galaxy at the End of the Universe to Big Bang Vanishes”

ESO VLT

 

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The Search for Dark-Matter Planets & Clouds

Hubble Dark Matter

 

Ever since astronomers reached a consensus in the 1980s that invisible “dark matter” binds galaxies together and gravitationally shapes the cosmos — experimentalists have hunted for the elusive nonluminous particles. Without luck.  “The nature of dark matter is one of the biggest mysteries in science and we need to use any related new data to tackle it,” says astronomer Avi Loeb at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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“The Big Bang Didn’t Happen Just Once” –Four Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe

 

Other Worlds

 

“There is probably no way to tell whether the mysteries faced by cosmologists today are the signs of a coming scientific revolution or merely the last few loose ends of an incredibly successful scientific endeavor. There is no question that we have made incredible progress in understanding our universe, its history, and its origin,” says Dan Hooper, a senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory about 40 miles west of Chicago and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

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