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Earth’s atmosphere may contain a mysterious piece of the universe

Earth’s atmosphere may contain a mysterious piece of the universe

A recent study suggests that Earth may be bathed in a vast ocean of dark matter, the waves of which crashing into the planet’s upper atmosphere could generate detectable radio waves. This theoretical discovery, published on arXiv, could help define this mysterious component of the universe.

Dark matter is proposed to explain phenomena such as the rotation curves of galaxies and the growth of cosmic structures. Attempts to explain these phenomena with alternative theories of gravity have failed, which has strengthened the hypothesis of the existence of dark matter as an unknown form of matter that rarely interacts with light or conventional matter. Theories suggest that they are made up of very light particles, such as “axions” or massive photons, which behave like waves that propagate throughout the universe.

Recent research is exploring models of lightweight dark matter that rarely interact with ordinary matter, producing radio waves. This would happen when dark matter encounters plasma waves, amplifying the interaction and producing radiation in the form of radio waves. These interactions can be detected in the Earth’s ionosphere, a thin, hot layer of the upper atmosphere made up of ionized particles, the plasma.

The ionosphere naturally reflects many radio waves from deep space, making it a region relatively free of contaminated signals and actually monitored. Detecting these interactions will require a radio antenna tuned to search for specific frequencies throughout the year. If successful, this discovery will make it possible to study dark matter, one of the most mysterious elements in the universe, directly from Earth.

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