Chinese Satellite Wukong Detects 1.6 Billion Dark Matter Particles

Posted: Nov 12 2016, 2:51am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Chinese Satellite Wukong Detects 1.6 Billion Dark Matter Particles

The satellite that China launched into space last year to explore dark matter - thought to be the invisible part of the cosmos - has already detected 1.6 billion particles, officials said on Saturday.

Scientists will now have to analyze the information gathered to try to understand what makes some matter five times more abundant than which is visible - composed of atoms - and thought to form the greater part of the universe, Efe news reported.

Scientists established the existence of dark matter in the 1970's due to its gravitational effects on visible matter although their knowledge about it is very scarce.

Head engineer of the satellite, Wu Jian, explained that researchers have reviewed the systems of calibrated devices to ensure maximum accuracy of their observations, reported the Times.

The satellite called Wukong was launched on December 17, 2015 and after almost a year in operation is currently in orbit at an altitude of 504 km, developing its operations normally.

This satellite includes a space telescope - China's first - which notes the direction, power and electrical load of high-energy space particles.

It is expected that during its first two years of operations, the telescope will look in all directions and after passing the first stage, focus its activity in areas where initial results look most promising.

China Saturday also successfully launched into space a new meteorological satellite, Yunhai-1, from Jiuquan base in the Gobi desert, aboard the Long March-2D rocket.

This satellite, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, will be dedicated to atmospheric, marine and space observation, prevention of meteorological disasters along with carrying out scientific experiments.

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