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Dark Matter may be Streaming from the Sun

No not the upcoming Art Bell Internet show. But... Scientists in the UK may have finally found direct evidence for dark matter pouring out of our Sun. Dark matter is an invisible mass of unknown origin, that is believed to make up 85 percent of the Universe. But despite that, scientists have never been able to directly detect it - they only know it’s there because of its gravitational effect on regular light and matter. Now scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a signal on the X-ray spectrum which appears to be a signature of ‘axions’ - a hypothetical dark matter particle that’s never been detected before. While we can't get too excited just yet - it will take years to confirm whether this signal really is dark matter - the discovery would completely change our understanding of how the Universe works. After all, dark matter is the force that holds our galaxies together, so learning more about it is pretty important. The researchers first detected the signal while searching through 15 years of measurements taking by the European Space Agency’s orbiting XMM-Newton space observatory. Unexpectedly, they noticed that the intensity of X-rays recorded by the spacecraft rose by about 10% whenever XMM-Newton was at the boundary of Earth’s magnetic field facing the Sun - even once they removed all the bright X-ray sources from the sky. Usually, that X-ray background is stable. "The X-ray background - the sky, after the bright X-ray sources are removed - appears to be unchanged whenever you look at it," said Andy Read, from the University of Leicester, one of the lead authors on the paper, in a press release. "However, we have discovered a seasonal signal in this X-ray background, which has no conventional explanation, but is consistent with the discovery of axions." More via Science Alert.

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