Large gas exoplanets may be fraught with self-destruction. Dark matterAnd now, a team of researchers have proposed using the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope to scan distant Behemoths in the galaxy for potential thermal effects. It is made up of mysterious matter, which contains almost 6 to 1 more than normal matter in the universe
Physicists know there is dark matter because it draws gravitational pull on stars and galaxies. But until now, invisible material has destroyed every attempt to better understand its properties.
Several dark matter theories suggest that they are made up of individual particles, and sometimes they can collide, just like ordinary matter particles, said Juri Smirnov, a star particle physicist at the Ohio State University. Live science According to these models, two dark matter particles could collide and destroy each other, generating heat, he added.
Related: The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matter
If those assumptions are true, dark matter particles should at times collide with large objects such as exoplanets, causing them to lose energy and accumulate within them. There, they can destroy each other and generate measured heat signals that are visible from afar, Smirnov said.
Along with his colleague Rebecca Leane, a postdoctoral researcher at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., Smyrnov suggested the use of the Space Webb Telescope, which scans the sky in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. To find this Peculiarities of heat
Larger exoplanets accumulate more dark matter, so the best option for a search like this is a larger gas giant Jupiter or a brown dwarf, a massive Earth that is almost a star. But it cannot collect enough gas to ignite a nuclear. Fusion In their core, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal on April 22. Physical review letter.
Considering that the heat comes from the destruction of dark matter and not another difficult process, Smyrnov and Lean proposed to look for exoplanets that were thrown out of their host stars and somewhat. This means that they cool to a very low temperature. If the object glows abnormally in the infrared, then dark matter is present.
But a more plausible approach is to locate many exoplanets along the Milky Way and generate maps of their temperatures, Smyrnov said. Dark matter is expected to pile up in the galactic center, so this map should show a slight increase in exoplanet temperatures as you look closer to the Milky Way’s core.
No known physical activity could explain such a signature. “If we see that it must be dark matter,” Smirnov said.
Capturing such signals could help physicists determine the mass of dark matter particles and the rate at which they interact with normal matter. Due to the Webb, which expects It will be released this October.Looking at exoplanets across the galaxy already, Smirnov thinks a map of dark matter’s potential heat signature can be generated in four to five years.
“It’s a good idea,” said Bruce Macintosh, an astronomer who studies exoplanets at Stanford University in California and was not involved in the work, told Live Science. On Earth to try and capture dark matter particles, “there is a limit to how big you can build a detector as a human being,” he added.
“We should take advantage of the great things that nature has to offer,” said Macintosh.
One thing he hibernated with the study is Webb, which will conduct an in-depth, targeted study of relatively few objects – perhaps not the best telescope for the job. Roman Space Telescope Nancy GraceLaunching in mid-2020, it will map the entire sky in detail and may be more suited to the event.
Originally published in Live Science.