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Dark matter

Dark matter represents one of the principal ingredients of the standard model, and its existence is demonstrated by a great number of astronomical observations. Amongst these we recall the rotation curves of spiral galaxies and the masses of galaxy clusters, along with the already mentioned fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background and the large scale distribution of galaxies. It appears clear from these observations that besides a small fraction of "unilluminated" conventional matter, 90% of dark matter must be in the form of massive elementary particles that interact with eachother (and ordinary matter) only via the force of gravity. What these particles might be remains one of the great mysteries of the cosmological model, strictly correlated with problems of fundamental physics and so to the research of the infinitely small. Research aimed at identifying the dark matter particles are both direct and indirect in nature, depending on whether they make use of an interaction with the atoms of a detector, or rely on the secondary particles expected as the result of particle annihilation. This research is mainly the prerogative of particle physics, with complimentary information provided by astronomical observations in the X-ray, optical and millimetric bands.


Jun 08, 2022

AN UNEXPECTED GAMMA-RAY BURST An international group led by INAF researchers have confirmed that the gamma-ray burst GRB 200826A, which lasted less than two seconds – typical of short bursts – is associated with the explosion of a massive star, which is typical of long gamma-ray bursts

Announcing the new Director of the Large Binocular Telescope

May 31, 2022

Announcing the new Director of the  Large Binocular Telescope The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, one of the largest and most advanced optical telescopes in the world, is proud to announce the appointment of its new Director, Prof. Joseph Shields, who will assume the position effective June 06, 2022

The final catalogue of the Gaia-ESO Survey is public

May 25, 2022

The final catalogue of the Gaia-ESO Survey is public ESO has just released the final catalogue of the Gaia-ESO Survey (GES), a large public spectroscopic survey carried out with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. INAF has played a key role in all the aspects of the survey.