The team believes that previous techniques have underestimated the amount of dark matter present in the universe. “We are 99 per cent confident that there is dark matter near the Sun,” said lead author Silvia Garbari. Dark matter is a theoretical and directly undetectable type of matter that is thought to account for a large part of the total mass of the universe.
“This could be the first evidence for a ‘disc’ of dark matter in our Galaxy, as recently predicted by theory and numerical simulations of galaxy formation, or it could mean that the dark matter halo of our galaxy is squashed, boosting the local dark matter density,” said Garbari.
The researchers then developed a new unbiased technique that recovered the correct answer from the simulated data. Applying their technique to the positions and velocities of thousands of orange K dwarf stars near the Sun, they obtained a new measure of the local dark matter density.
Source: Economic Times