Chinese Academy of Sciences launches the country's first dark matter satellite
China has participated in the worldwide competition on a scientific frontier, the lookout for dark matter, with the latest study instruments and facilities that have pushed the expectations for answers.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the first dark matter satellite of the county on Thursday. The satellite will be in service for a time period of three years, seeking indications of the mystery substance, and also to study cosmic rays’ origin and for observing gamma rays.
Chang Jin, deputy director of the academy's Purple Mountain Observatory, said, “We hope we are lucky enough to become the first team in the world to find dark matter”.
It is very hard to measure dark matter as it at times interacts with anything, except gravity generation. Most of the researchers have failed to measure it with the help of electronic or magnetic signals.
But as per Chang, on collision and annihilation between dark matter particles, they generate other particles that can be sensed-electrons, gamma rays and antiprotons. The idea was proposal by him when he joined the United States space agency, NASA-sponsored Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter project, in 1998.
In the years between 2009-2003, a balloon-borne instrument was launched over Antarctica by the team for the detection of cosmic rays at low heights. It discovered a lot of electrons that could have been emitted by dark matter annihilations at some place in space, probably 3,000 light years from Earth.
The journal Nature reported the discovery first in 2008, as exciting indirect proof for the dark matter existence.
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