Discovery is first direct proof that dark matter exists and that it is made up of low-mass particles, Israeli and US researchers say.
“Dark matter,” the most mysterious building block of outer space, was discovered unexpectedly by a team of astronomers led by Prof. Judd Bowman of Arizona State University while they were attempting to detect the earliest stars in the universe through radio-wave signals, according to a study published this week in Nature.
The idea that radio-wave signals implicate dark matter is explained in another Nature paper published this week, by Prof. Rennan Barkana of Tel Aviv University, whom Bowman’s team consulted upon their discovery.
Barkana suggests that the signal is proof of interactions between normal matter and dark matter in the early universe. The discovery, he said, offers the first direct proof that dark matter exists and that it is composed of low-mass particles. Until now, dark matter has been detected only through its gravitational effects because it is impossible to see directly.