X-ray signal tantalizes astronomers


A giant collection of galaxies immersed in hot gas about 250 million light years from Earth.In the Perseus Cluster, a mysterious signal. The cluster contains thousands of galaxies immersed in an enormous cloud of superheated gas.

ET is not on the phone. But nonetheless scientists are excited about a “mysterious” X-ray signal found when a team sifted through old data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton.

Astronomers think it might be evidence of sterile neutrinos — dark matter, that stuff that makes up about  85% of the Universe, but does not emit or absorb light.

“We know that the dark matter explanation is a long shot, but the pay-off would be huge if we’re right,” says Esra Bulbul of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,  who led the study. “So we’re going to keep testing this interpretation and see where it takes us.”

A paper explaining the research is published in the Astrophysical Journal.

You  can read more here.