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Old 11-19-2008, 01:36 PM   #885
alkemical
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ef=online-news

Mysterious electrons may be sign of dark matter

The search continues

With so many unanswered questions, will we ever be able to say conclusively that dark matter has been spotted? Wefel thinks that experiments such as the recently launched Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope should continue to discover new possible sources of dark matter. These sources will need to be studied in other wavelengths and with other instruments in order to determine their properties.

"Then we shall see if any of them have the capability to produce the electron signal that ATIC observed," says Wefel. "How long do you search before you give up? I can't say but I suspect we'll keep going until Fermi and other instruments run out of new source discoveries. Meanwhile other experiments will try to study the electrons in more detail to see if they can 'pin down' the signature of dark matter annihilation."

However the pieces fit together, other experts say the ATIC discovery is intriguing. That's because there are still some questions about what accelerates electrons and other charged particles in space, called cosmic rays.

"Even if it proves not to be dark matter, the puzzle of how very high-energy cosmic rays are produced is still a mystery, and this work will help shed some light on it," thinks Andy Taylor, an astrophysicist from the University of Edinburgh.
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