The best astrophysical interpretation for the recent gamma-ray studies of the centre of the Milky Way can be best explained by thousands of rapidly spinning neutron stars called ‘millisecond pulsars’. Image credit: NASA Goddard; A. Mellinger, CMU; T. Linden, Univ. of Chicago
For almost ten years, astronomers have been studying a mysterious diffuse radiation coming from the centre of our galaxy. Originally, it was thought that this radiation could originate from the elusive dark matter particles that many researchers are hoping to find. However, physicists from the University of Amsterdam/GRAPPA, Netherlands, and the Laboratoire d’Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique, France, have now found further evidence that rapidly spinning neutron stars are a much more likely source for this radiation. Their findings are published recently in Nature Astronomy.
Observations of the gamma-ray radiation from the galactic centre region with the Fermi Large Area Telescope have revealed a mysterious diffuse and extended emission. Discovered almost 10 years ago, this emission generated a lot of excitement in the particle physics community, since it had all the characteristics of a long-sought-after signal from the self-annihilation of dark matter particles in the inner Milky Way.
Finding such a signal would confirm that dark matter, a substance ...