Science

Mysteries of dark matter could be unfolded by ESA space probe LISA, scientists claim

European Space Agency (ESA) is launching a space craft named LISA which could finally unfold the mysteries of the hypothetical material called ‘Dark Matter’.

The LISA mission (artist's impression). Credit: Dailymail.

European Space Agency (ESA) is launching a space craft named LISA which could finally unfold the mysteries of the hypothetical material called ‘Dark Matter’.

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is originally intended to launch in search of an extra dimension by tracking ripples in spacetime continuum called gravitational waves when celestial bodies like block holes collide with each other.

What is “Dark Matter” ?

Computer simulated picture of dark matter. Credit: Dailymail

The concept of dark matter is completely theoretical. This concept arises from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity published on 1916. In the observable universe, source of 85 percent of gravity in not known to us. From Einstein’s general theory of relativity we know that gravity arises from interaction of matter with the fabric of space-time. And thus to account for that 85 percent of gravity, scientist thought of the corresponding matter and named is as “Dark Matter”. Though science still don’t know is that actually matter or not.

What is Gravitational Waves ?

Gravitational waves are formed due to matter interacting with fabric of space-time. Generally they so weak that we could not detect it.  But when big celestial bodies like black holes and big galaxies collied in the outer space, they emit massive gravitational waves that could be detected here on earth using scientific instruments. The breakthrough came in 2016, when scientists first discovered gravitational waves.

What is LISA and What is its mission?

ESA’s LISA- Laser Interferometer Space Antenna is combination of three identical satellites separated by 1.50 million miles (2.50 million Km) in a triangular formation which will be orbiting the Sun . These three satellites will beam laser between one another. The tiny little distortion in the fabric of space-time caused by ripples due to gravitational waves  will be measured by the slight change in the distance travelled by the laser beam. This mission is expected to launch in 2034.

How this mission might solve the mysteries of dark matter?

Scientists now believe that, these gravitational interactions which occur in the centre of the dwarf galaxies may have a strong relation with the creation of dark matter.

It has never been observed directly, and proving its existence would help scientists unveil many more mysteries about the universe, the nature of cosmos.

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