Scientists believe the solar system may have dark matter ‘hairs’ and are working on developing the technology to prove it. A new study now showcases a theory that states that the Earth as well as other planets in our solar system could contain ‘hairs’ of dark matter.
The new theory was penned by Gary Prézeau, a scientist who works for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA in Pasadena, California and it states that planets generate a gravitational influence on dark matter and that studying the way this influence acts could help scientists identify possible locations where dark matter could be found and finally discover proof of its existence.
The new concept has been detailed in a paper recently published in the Astrophysical Journal and basically states that planets could have long filaments of dark matter within them. Astrophysicists have been researching dark matter for a long time but have so far failed to find definite proof of its existence, although indirect proof that it exists in the universe has been identified.
Many theories have emerged over the years regarding the existence of dark matter. One such theory states that dark matter could be formed in particles that organize themselves in thin streams and orbit galaxies across the universe. But what Prézeau proposes is that when these streams interact with gravitational forces during the formation of a galaxy, the particles within the stream continue to travel at the same velocity as they did before and that the stream itself crosses the respective galaxy unseen.
According to his study, these streams of dark matter can be a lot larger than the solar system that they are crossing through. Prézeau thinks that when such a stream interacts with a planet such as Earth, the particles of dark matter in the stream focus into a very dense ‘hair’ or filament. This would imply that such hairs of dark matter should be sprouting from planets in our solar system.
Prézeau has performed simulations which show that Earth’s gravitational force would manipulate the stream of dark matter and cause the particles to form this very dense filament, crossing through the planet in a way in which matter could not. According to his study such a ‘hair’ could go right through Earth and contain a root, where the density of dark matter particles would be highest, and a tip where it would end.
This process would take place when the dark matter stream would pass through the Earth’s core as this would cause the particles to focus into a root. The tips would be closer to the Earth’s surface. It now remains to be seen if information about these filaments can be obtained and used to locate actual dark matter in the universe.
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