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Space China Communications Science

China's Dark Matter Probe Detects Tantalizing Signal ( 37

hackingbear shares a report from Science Magazine: Results reported by a China-led space science mission provide a tantalizing hint -- but not firm evidence -- for dark matter. In its first 530 days of scientific observations, China's Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) detected 1.5 million cosmic ray electrons and positrons above a certain energy threshold. When researchers plot of the number of particles against their energy, they saw hints of an anomalous break in the curve. Now, DAMPE has confirmed that deviation. "It may be evidence of dark matter," but the break in the curve "may be from some other cosmic ray source," says astrophysicist Chang Jin, who leads the collaboration at the Chinese Academy of Science's Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing. DAMPE's life span will be extended to 5 years given the excellent conditions of this Chinese spacecraft, then it can record over 10 billion cosmic events, allowing researchers to confirm if it is indeed dark matter. Perhaps more significantly, the first observational data produced by China's first mission dedicated to astrophysics shows that the country is set to become a force in space science, says David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton University. China is now "making significant contributions to astrophysics and space science," he says. The DAMPE results appear online in the journal Nature.
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China's Dark Matter Probe Detects Tantalizing Signal

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  • By my calculations from the numbers in the article, it's processing around 1 million cosmic ray strikes a year.

    So, how are they going to get to 10 billion in five years?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, the 1.5M was strikes ABOVE THE THRESHOLD, it doesn't say the total collected then.

    • So, how are they going to get to 10 billion in five years?

      The critter runs on Bitcoins, so the value of the "strikes" will be exponentially increasing over the next years.


  • Good job China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @04:06AM (#55662759) Journal
    Well this is exciting. The results considerably narrows the parameter space for nearby astronomical sources that can account for the PAMELA positron anomaly. It also puts new constrains on theoretical models for proposed dark-matter candidates. Of course it is still entirely possible that all that comes out of this is the discovery of a nearby pulsar
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @09:00AM (#55663089) Journal
    During the cold war the Swedish navy had underwater listening posts that detected suspicious signals that could be Russian subs. These Swedish subs kept trying to catch the Red Subs red handed, but to no avail. They kept following the "typical signal" that sounded like bcaon being fried in a skillet noise.

    Eventually, once biologists came on board to listen, they found the source of the signals.

    Farting Fish Fingered [] said the Guardian.

  • It'll turn out to be a hoax.

  • I read the linked article that had not much more detail than the summary, unfortunately.

    But the projected count of events seems wrong. The reported data were collected over 530 days it is said. That's about 1-1/2 years, and they observed 1.5 million events, or about 1 million per year. They now want to extend the lifetime of the probe to 5 years, total. Shouldn't that be about 5 million events, give-or-take? We have a discrepancy of 3 orders of magnitude from the projected total count of 10 billion.


  • Turns out China excels at producing faked science.
    Beware, demand verification, and even then check to make sure the "Peers" aren't the same people who wrote the paper.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn