Thursday, April 4, 2013

Has Dark Matter Been Discovered???

Today's Increasing the Awesome post is about the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which was brought up to the International Space Station back on STS-134, the second to last shuttle mission.  The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, is an incredible piece of machinery that was mounted on the exterior of the ISS with the intent of measuring cosmic rays in space.  It was built to help researches study the formation of the universe and look for dark matter and antimatter.  Well after recording data for over a year and a half, the AMS scientists are finally reporting the machine has obtained signals that might actually be attributed to dark matter (about 400,000 positrons, which is the antimatter partner particle to electrons)!!!  Of course scientists are not willing to commit to anything concrete yet.  And work here on earth with particle accelerators will be required to justify that these particles are indeed result of dark matter.  But how exciting is it that this pieces of equipment is functioning so beautifully and actually living up to its intent?!?  This is truly NASA and the scientific community working to Increase the Awesome!!!

(photo of AMS from here and some data from here)

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