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News Picks : Earth may be surrounded by dark matter

By: Physics Today
02 January 2014
New Scientist: Earth-orbiting satellites could reveal properties of dark matter, according to research by Ben Harris of the University of Texas at Arlington. Using nine months’ of satellite data, Harris found a discrepancy between Earth’s mass as established by the International Astronomical Union and its mass as determined by the pull felt by the satellites. If dark matter is the origin of the discrepancy, then Harris's analysis suggests the matter is distributed in a thick disk around Earth's equator. However, the analysis does not account for the effects of general relativity and the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon.

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