News of the WeekAstrophysics

Fermi Data Dim Dark-Matter Claim

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Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 709
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_709a

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Summary

Data from a new satellite appear to stick a pin in a previous claim that a balloon experiment may have spotted dark matter. Last November, astrophysicists working with the balloon-borne Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter reported a dramatic excess of high-energy electrons and positrons from space, which could be a sign of dark-matter particles annihilating one another. But researchers with NASA's orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have measured the particles' energy spectrum with higher precision, and this week they reported that they see no such excess.