Milky Way’s center is glowing, and this phenomenon quite intrigues astronomers. Of course, there is a very energetic region and a big black hole, but there’s an extra high-energy, gamma-ray glow, too.
The glow is dubbed the Galactic Center GeV Excess (GCE), and astronomers still try to understand it. One explanation is that the destruction of dark matter might produce the glow. Recent research shed some light upon this cosmic situation. Here is what you need to know.
Milky Way’s Glow Examined: What to Expect
A team of astrophysicists has determined the dark matter destruction as the source of the glow. This discovery gives dark matter less room to hide – putting more substantial constraints on its features that could aid in subsequent investigations.
The Galactic Center GeV Excess was first spotted a decade ago when the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope began examining the area. Gamma rays are known as the highest-energy electromagnetic waves in the Universe. They’re made by the most intense objects, such as supernovae, black holes, millisecond pulsars, colliding neutron stars and neutron stars.
The problem was when it came to examining Fermi’s data. Astronomers ended up with a gamma-ray glow in the Milky Way’s core that couldn’t be explained.
However, if Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, also known as WIMPs (dark matter particles), were to collide with each other, they would destroy each other, collapsing in a shower of other shreds, including gamma-ray photons. Such strikes have been put forward as a potential mechanism generating the GCE. But many studies have found no proof of WIMP collisions.
“In many models, this particle ranges from 10 to 1,000 times the mass of a proton, with more massive particles being less attractive theoretically as a dark matter particle,” explained Manoj Kaplinghat, an astrophysicist at the UCI.
Astronomers still need to examine more data and possibilities to determine why the center of our galaxy is glowing. So far, their work proved to be in the right direction.
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