New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

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The visible universe, comprising stars, planets, and galaxies, represents only a small fraction—5%—of the total cosmic makeup. The remaining 95% consists of mysterious entities: dark matter and dark energy. While these cannot be directly observed, scientists have devised sophisticated instruments to detect sub-atomic particles that may offer clues to their existence.

A crucial development in this quest comes from the International Space Station (ISS), where a highly sensitive instrument has been in operation since 2011. This tool has meticulously analyzed 41 billion cosmic rays in search of elusive particles known as "neutralinos," believed to be connected to dark matter. Given that neutralinos don't interact with light or other matter, their existence can only be confirmed through collisions, releasing detectable particles.

Researchers on the ISS have observed fluctuations in the electron-positron ratio, providing suggestive evidence of dark matter. Further confirmation may arise from the Large Hadron Collider, a substantial subterranean particle accelerator set to resume operations following a comprehensive upgrade.


1- What is the visible universe composed of?

2- What did the instrument on the International Space Station analyze in its search for neutralinos?

3- What evidence of dark matter did researchers observe on the ISS?


You have completed the comprehension questions. 

Parts of this lesson are based on: An article Voice of America..