There is a possible new explanation for the strange galactic signal coming from the center of the galaxy
Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have found an alternative explanation for a mysterious gamma-ray signal coming from the center of the galaxy, which was claimed to be the signature of dark matter.
Gamma-rays are forms of electromagnetic radiation with the lowest wavelength and the highest energy.
Associate Professor Roland Crocker, the co-author of the study, said that this particular gamma-ray signal – known as galactic center access – could actually be the remnants of super-dense stars of a certain type of fast-moving neutron star. Huge than your sun.
Galactic center access is an unexpected concentration of gamma-rays emanating from the center of our galaxy that has long puzzled astronomers.
“Our work does not cast doubt on the existence of the signal, but offers another potential source,” said Associate Professor Crocker.
“It’s based on millisecond pulsars – neutron stars that move really fast – about 100 times a second.
“Scientists have previously detected gamma-ray emissions from individual millisecond pulsars adjacent to the solar system, so we know that these objects emit gamma-rays. Our model shows that out of the total population of such stars, about 100,000 integrated emissions will produce a signal consistent with galactic center access.
This discovery could mean that scientists will have to rethink where they find clues about dark matter.
“The nature of the dark matter is completely unknown, so any possible indications create a lot of excitement,” said Associate Professor Crocker.
“But our results point to another important source of gamma-ray production.
“For example, the gamma-ray signals in Andromeda, the next-largest galaxy near our own, maybe due to a pulsar in most milliseconds.”
ANU master student Anuj Gautam led the research, which also included scientists from the Australian Defense Force Academy, the University of Canterbury, and the University of Tokyo.