A Dark Matter Hurricane in Space is Headed Our Way
A recently published paper details that our planet will eventually be caught in the middle of a dark matter hurricane. A swarm of nearly 100 stars accompanied by a massive amount of dark matter is aimed directly at Earth, and there is really nothing we can do to stop it. Sounds pretty ominous, huh? Thankfully, we are in absolutely no danger, as it poses no credible threat to Earth and humanity.
According to data released last April, scientists were able to track the trajectories of 2 billion stars using the Gaia satellite. The data was released to the public, where some astronomers noticed some peculiar aspects. Throughout the Milky Way, there are a number of gatherings of stars that were once dwarf galaxies that collided billions of years ago.
One particular stream, called S1, consists of nearly 100 stars of similar ages and composition orbiting the Milky Way in the opposite direction of normal stars. Astronomers identified S1 as remnants of an ancient dwarf galaxy that were consumed in a cataclysmic collision with our own galaxy. An interesting characteristic of dwarf galaxies is they have an exceptionally large amount of dark matter. Dark matter is a hypothetical and yet-to-be witnessed form of matter that only interacts with gravity. In fact, it is so small, that it could pass through your body without you even knowing.
With S1, the dark matter present in the stream will be passing through the Earth at extraordinary velocities, topping nearly 1.2 million mph. Yet, due to the nature of dark matter stated above, this presents no danger to us or the solar system. So why is this dark matter hurricane so important? Well, it gives scientists the opportunity to detect it for the very first time.
Dark matter is one of the most profound mysteries of the cosmos. Scientists predict that dark matter comprises of 85 % of the total matter in the universe, yet we have not been able to properly detect or measure it. All we know is that there is something out there, hence its mysterious name. While there’s no need to head down to the basement when the dark matter hurricane hits, it poses a staggering potential for us to unlock one of the many mysteries of the universe.