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Dark Matter Grows Hair Around Stars and Planets (forbes.com) 171

StartsWithABang writes: Dark matter may make up 27% of the Universe's energy density, compared to just 5% of normal (atomic) matter, but in our Solar System, it's notoriously sparse. In particular, there's just a nanogram's worth per cubic kilometer, which makes the fact that we've never directly detected it seem inevitable. But recent work has demonstrated that Earth and all the planets leave a "wake" of dark matter where the density is enhanced by a billion times or more. Time to go put those dark matter detectors where they belong: in the path of these dark matter hairs.
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Dark Matter Grows Hair Around Stars and Planets

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  • if we were to position our detectors in the wake of one of these hairs – if dark matter behaves as we expect it to — the sensitivity of our dark matter detectors will improve by a factor of one billion, immediately.

    No it wouldn't. The sensitivity of the detectors doesn't change at all.

    When you walk into a bright room, it's not bright because your eyes have just magically got more sensitive to light.

  • Please startswithabang, go away.

    • Please startswithabang, go away.

      And take away that wake of credulous Forbes links where the density is enhanced by a billion times or more.

    • What the hell? Why? Seems like the articles he posts are interesting and on topic for a nerdy site.

      Maybe you should go away.

      • The second link has his username embedded in it ... which essentially means he's publishing links to articles he's put elsewhere.

        So, yeah, one can see how it's a little self-promoting.

        • I've seen them come an go over the years but this is probably one of the least benign cases of self promotion.

          • this is probably one of the least benign cases of self promotion.

            http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

            So lets reverse what you just said. This is the most harmful case of self promotion. Is that what you meant to put there?

          • I don't entirely disagree ... but a lot of people prefer not to see something submitted which boils down to "hey, look what I have over here", especially if that submitter might actually benefit from the self promotion. And most especially if they don't give us the courtesy of adding the disclaimer which says "I'm on the payroll and this is mine".

            So, like when Nerval's Lobster gets something accepted which inevitably links back to dice.com, we pretty much know he's a paid shill who gets preferentially publ

      • Because this site is a news aggregation. If we wanted to read every thing he posted then maybe it would make sense to, oh I don't know, subscribe to his site?

        His stuff is mildly interesting, but I'm sick of the 2-3 people who treat Slashdot as their personal blog. It used to be that people avoided getting linked to Slashdot for fear that it takes out your server. Nowadays you do your best to link every shitty click-bait article to Slashdot for the ad revenue. Everyone. As in we see his shit multiple times a

    • by sribe ( 304414 )

      Please startswithabang, go away.

      Or at least learn the minimum necessary to post reasonably accurate summaries. I don't even have to go to the linked article to know that the research did not "demonstrate" what he claimed. What the research did was theorize about what happens when planets pass through dark matter, and demonstrate that such an effect is consistent with, in other words predicted by, current theories.

      Demonstrating that dark matter is concentrated that way by a passing planet would mean detecting the dark mark and measuring th

    • Please startswithabang, go away.

      Right, please bring back Bennett Haselton instead! Please!

      WTF?!? Is the OP serious? startswithabang seems to be one of the best serial-posters here.

      • WTF?!? Is the OP serious? startswithabang seems to be one of the best serial-posters here.

        Yes the OP is serious. Seriously disappointed that someone thinks there's anything "best" about serial-posters.
        I guess Slashdot has turned into a personal blog for a few.
        The occasional article is not an issue. The flat out serial posting of every one of his articles while at the same time having zero contribution to the site means he's using the site as a personal cash grab with Dice's support.

        But hey I guess that's what Slashdot has turned into these days. Page hits for nerds, adclicks that matter.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Someone force you to read it? Someone force you to comment? Yeah? Sucks to be you.
      • Yes, there is a guy here with a gun to my head, please send help! (or don't, because that was a terrible attempt at sarcasm...)

    • The guy has got up my nose more than a few times with that shit that he used to do through - was it Medium, Vice, or MediumVice, or some such piece of shit. It got to the point that I was looking for ways to actively block his stuff from coming up again (short of completely trashing Slashdot.

      But props to the guy - he has improved his posting somewhat the last couple of months, and has squeaked back into being worth paying attention to. In particular, in this one he STARTS with a link to TFP (that The FUCK

  • Does this have something to do with string theory?

    • Well, weakly interacting massive particles are a candidate for dark matter, some supersymmetric theories naturally include such particles and string theory requires supersymmetry.

      Not much of a link, but afaik about as much of a link as it's possible to get between string theory and experiment.
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Some string theories predict particles at different energy levels with different masses (supersymmetry), and some of those particles would be cold dark matter candidates, like a neutralino. [wikipedia.org]
  • Prézeau’s work is particularly stinging for me, because about a decade ago, as a graduate student, I was asked by my advisor to consider this problem, which I did. But in my analysis, I only considered the effect that the passing dark matter would have on the planet’s velocity, not of the density enhancement in the planet’s wake.

    Ya man i know what you mean. I almost solved a quantum formula for gravity myself as my advisor asked me to solve a similar problem. But all i did was use formulas like mg(h2-h1)=E and assumed frictionless spherical cows.

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    So the Universe is made up of hairy balls... that explains a lot.

  • So, in the chronology of the creation of the universe, we've officially hit the puberty epoch. Congratulations, universe! You are growing up so fast.

  • Those are some big hairy balls...

  • Send some politicians and Comcast executives into the wake stream for a few decades and see what happens to them. Don't waste perfectly good chimps.

  • I see that there remains an aversion here to questioning the cosmic plasma model. Rather than investigate the dark-mode filamentary plasmas we already observe crisscrossing the galaxy on numerous scales, theorists continue to play with their simulations -- and the public continues to buy into the notion that this is science. How many more decades will this go on?

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.