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News Picks : Dark matter may be forming hairs around planets

By: Physics Today
25 November 2015

The Independent: Although dark matter can't be seen, its existence is inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter. According to models created by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his colleagues, unlike regular matter, dark matter can pass through planets, and as it does, it gets squeezed into networks of "ultradense filaments." Those filaments are hair-like, with densely concentrated roots and thinner ends that extend away from the planets. Prézeau says that modeling the dark matter could provide clues about where to look for it. To maximize the chance of detecting it, he proposes sending probes into orbit around other, more massive planets, such as Jupiter, where the network of such dark-matter hairs is likely to be denser.

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