Forget Regular Asteroids – You’d Better Watch Out for Dark Matter Asteroids

Forget Regular Asteroids – You’d Better Watch Out for Dark Matter Asteroids
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Who said that asteroids can’t suffer transformations that weren’t predicted by anybody? Dark matter is one of the most elusive structures in the Universe, as it behaves nothing like the usual matter that we interact with every day. 

Each and every one of us is living proof that the Universe contains matter. Some more than others. But when it comes to dark matter, astronomers still have a difficult time finding it or at least learning about what in the world it is made of. But we may all find out more about dark matter the hard way if an asteroid made of such material really exists and hits our planet one day.

Are dark matter asteroids real?

ArsTechnica.com writes about the possibility for dark matter asteroids to exist somewhere out there in the vast ocean of our Cosmos. Scientists speculate that since it’s unknown what exactly dark matter is, it could come in a variety of different shapes: molecules, atoms, or even stars made of dark matter, and so on.

The publication also tells the world about the possibility for dark matter asteroids to collide with stars, a scenario that will lead to other interesting stuff. 

But if dark matter asteroids truly exist, they have to be hurtling very fast across the Universe. How fast? Faster than sound speed within a star.

To make things worse, NASA recently revealed that regular asteroids could approach our planet undetected due to a quirk in the Earth’s rotation.

Richard Wainscoat, an astronomer, explained as quoted by Daily Mail:

Near-Earth Objects that approach from a direction east of opposition — most notably 0–2 hours [0–30°] east of opposition — are prone to periods of slow motion during their approach,

The induced topocentric motion coming from Earth’s rotation cancels the natural eastward motion in the sky, making the object appear to be almost stationary.

The new study about the hypothetical dark matter asteroids was published in Physical Review Letters.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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