Dark matter: we’ve been staring at it all along

Dark nuggets

Astrobods have been searching for dark matter for a decade or so now. And despite it filling the known Universe, there’s been no sign of the stuff .

But could it be that we’ve been staring at it all along without knowing what we’ve been looking at?

That’s the claim of a couple of theorists in North America. They say that dark matter is in the form of large nuggets of dense quark matter or quark anti-matter and that this could explain a number of mysterious observations that astronomers have been making in recent years.

Michael Forbes of University of Washington, in Seattle and Ariel Zhitnitsky from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver say these nuggets float around in the form of tiny 10 ton lumps and would emit thermal radiation that should be straightforward to measure.

And sure enough, astronomers have been puzzling over a number of unexplained bands of radiation coming from the center of our galaxy that have been picked up by orbiting telescopes in recent years. The gamma ray observatory Integral has spotted a mysterious 511 KeV glow, the Compton gamma ray observatory has found an unexplained signal between 1- 20 MeV, the Chandra x-ray telescope sees a diffuse keV x-ray emission all over the place and WMAP has detected an excess of GHz microwave radiation from the inner core of the galaxy called the WMAP haze.

All this can be explained by quark nuggets, say the pair of astronomers. Interestingly, they also make a number of predictions about the nature and distrbution of the radiation emitted by nuggets that should be straightforward to test. So unlike most dark matter theories, this one will stand or fall relatively quickly.

The theory also explains why none of the detectors on Earth have spotted these nuggets–the nuggets are distributed too sparsely to have been seen yet.

But when one of these ten ton beauties does come floating by, we’re not likely to miss its impact.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0802.3830: WMAP Haze: Directly Observing Dark Matter?

5 Responses to “Dark matter: we’ve been staring at it all along”

  1. Zephir says:

    The explanation of dark matter can much more prosaic. The dark matter effects are partly a result of Universe expansions (so called the “cold dark matter” – compare the MOND theory). If the space-time expands, then the light emitted by galaxies spreads more & more slowly gradually in expanding space-time, it “freezes”.

    The same is valid for gravity, which is spreading by the speed of light: the gravitational interaction and motion of matter “freezes” in the gradually expanding space and it results in Pioneer anomaly and other phenomena, which can be predicted by MOND with high precision.

    The second part of dark matter can be formed by highly ionized atom nuclei of heavy atoms, which are nearly free of electrons and they’re repulsing at the distance, thus forming a sparse clouds of plasma around visible matter or even independently (compare the “warm dark matter”, “dark galaxies” and the “plasma universe” hypothesis).

    http://superstruny.aspweb.cz/images/fyzika/astronomy/dark_matter_hallo.jpg

    The haze of warm dark matter is in fact quite common during X-ray dispersion near galaxies, we are observing it for long time by Chandra telescope.

  2. Zephir says:

    By Aether Wave Theory (AWT) the formation of 511 KeV signal is of somewhat different origin, because the dense vacuum near black holes is quite rich in metastable mixtures of matter and antimatter. They’re remnant of bright radiative history of central black hole inside of our Milky Way from the past, where it was formed by shinning quasar, emanating matter and antimatter.

    By AWT the whole Milky Way galaxy is the remnant of the evaporative radiation of the central black hole.

  3. Cosmologists or theoreticians have a lot of fantasy. For decades now they are inventing all kinds of strange particles (such as WIMPS) with all kind of bizarre properties. Because of their limitless fantasy and limitless amount of hypothesis to choose from, they can fit whatever observation and it is very convenient for them that their theories are not verifiable. Maybe that will however soon change when the LHC at Cern starts operating.

    First of all, nobody has demonstrated that dark matter exists at all. Of course, I know about the classical stories of galaxy rotation curves, clusters of galaxies, lensing etc. These observations however ONLY demonstrate that the observations are not consistent with Newton’s law of gravitation. This by itself is not surprising because Newton’s law has been derived based on observations on a very small scale (our solar system) and extrapolating this scale by factors of 1E12 or more asks for problems. Modifying Newton’s law makes a lot more sense. Despite thousands of papers on dark matter, I maintain that the concept of dark matter is completely wrong (I’ve been claiming this since 1996 ; see my website). There are alternative explanations such as MOND or my own theory:
    see http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0712/0712.1110.pdf

  4. Zephir says:

    2 Nieuwenhove: Your approach appears to be correct (I explained it before some time already http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=3989), but the result should remain equivalent to MOND theory, because the expansion of space-time is equivalent to gravitational force (http://arxivblog.com/?p=326). I don’t believe in WIMPS as well, simply because many much more natural explanations weren’t tested thoroughly, if at all.

  5. Paul F. Dietz says:

    If this theory is correct, it has interesting practical applications. Assuming we can capture one of these nuggets, it could be used (in space) as a large scale energy source simply by immersing it in a gas of ordinary matter. Antimatter power satellites or antimatter rockets could become feasible, without the need to manufacture our own antimatter (at ruinously lost efficiency and high cost).