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Astronomy

Dark matter "wrecking ball" may have hit Milky Way

USA Today
4 November 2009

Scientists say the power of an invisible wrecking ball made of dark matter -- a cloud of the enigmatic physics particles born in the fiery aftermath of the Big Bang and weighing as much as 10 million suns -- may be responsible for a bent ring in our Milky Way Galaxy within the last 60 million years.

Left behind by this "Dark Matter Clump" cataclysm was a tilted swirl of newborn stars circling within the galaxy called the Gould Belt. Astrophysicist Kenji Bekki of Australia's University of New South Wales offers a new explanation for its existence. Using computer models to test a collision between a dark matter clump and a hydrogen gas cloud merely 1 million times heavier than the sun, he finds that within 45 million years the dark matter's gravity would have indeed spawned a tilted ring of infant stars looking much like the Gould Belt.

Full story from USA Today