A study scheduled for publication this week in the Astrophysical Journal by a NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist, Gary Prézeau, suggests our Earth might contain hairy dark matter, just as can be found elsewhere in our solar system - a NASA blog post shows.
Prézeau thinks our solar system has long contained long filaments of dark matter called “hairs” without us knowing, and the reason for this is largely because the hairs or dark matter cannot be seen with the naked eyes some equipment, even thought it exacts a pull on other objects out in space.
Prézeau postulates that hairs or dark matter is contained in 27% of all matter and energy found in the universe, and while it constitutes 5% of objects in our universe, it also makes things we can see around us even though it remains mysterious and invisible.
No dark matter or energy has ever been captured directly, but scientists are already deploying technical wizardry to prove its existence and unlock its mysteries in space overhead or deep underground. Several experiments have shown that dark matter pulls other objects through gravitational energy, and even proven its existence.
Scientists believe it does not change positions so much nor interact much with light, but it does exist. And researchers went ahead to note that the changing densities of dark matter is responsible for the formation of stars composed of ordinary matter. It is further estimated that gravity glues both dark and ordinary matter together in distant galaxies.
Prézeau disclosed that particles of dark matter can be seen as fine-grained streams moving with equal speed and orbiting our galaxy among others in our solar system. "A stream can be much larger than the solar system itself, and there are many different streams crisscrossing our galactic neighborhood," he said.
Prézeau describes the development of fine-grained streams of hairs or dark matter as the traces of fine line observed when vanilla ice cream and chocolate are stirred together. The individual colors of both chocolate and vanilla can be seen in the mixed pattern.
"When gravity interacts with the cold dark matter gas during galaxy formation, all particles within a stream continue traveling at the same velocity," Prézeau said.
Using computer simulations to determine what should happen if one of the streams strays close to Earth or other body, Prézeau discovered that the particle stream would condense into hairs of dark matter, such as was observed jutting from Earth.
Funny enough, the hairs seen sprouting from Earth have roots which is the point where dark matter is most concentrated. "If we could pinpoint the location of the root of these hairs, we could potentially send a probe there and get a bonanza of data about dark matter," Prézeau said.
Charles Lawrence, chief scientist for JPL’s astronomy, physics and technology directorate, noted that "Dark matter has eluded all attempts at direct detection for over 30 years. The roots of dark matter hairs would be an attractive place to look, given how dense they are thought to be.”
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Although more studies are still required to fully understand dark matter, scientists surmise its knowledge could be used to map the layers of planetary bodies or even determine the depths of oceans on icy moons out in space.