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Dark matter

  • IASbaba
  • August 30, 2022
  • 0
Science and Technology
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Recent Context:

  • Recently, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured the first-ever evidence of the presence of carbon dioxide in an exoplanet’s WASP-39b atmosphere.

About exoplanet’s WASP-39b:

  • WASP-39 is a hot gas giant that was found orbiting a star around 700 light years away.
  • The exoplanet orbits its star once every four Earth days and is one-fourth the size of Jupiter but has a diameter that is 1.3 times bigger.

It is expected that JWST over its lifetime would provide us with a space data which help in resolving some of the many mysteries of the cosmos which are not directly detected such as dak matter and dark energy. 

What is dark matter?

  • All interactions in the universe are a result of four fundamental forces acting on particles — strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force and gravitation.
  • Dark matter is made up of particles that do not have a charge — which means they do not interact through electromagnetic interactions.
  • So, these are particles that are “dark”, namely because they do not emit light, which is an electromagnetic phenomenon, and “matter” because they possess mass like normal matter and hence interact through gravity.
  • Gravitational force, besides not being fully integrated and understood by particle physicists, is extremely weak.
  • For one thing, a particle that interacts so weakly becomes rather elusive to detect.
  • This is because interactions from other known particles could drown out signals of dark matter particles.

What is Dark energy?

  • Dark energy is an unknown form of energy that affects the universe on the largest scales.
  • The first observational evidence for its existence came from measurements of supernovae, which showed that the universe does not expand at a constant rate and rather, the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Are Both Dark matter and Dark energy the same?

  • About 27% of the universe is dark matter and 68% is dark energy.
  • While dark matter attracts and holds galaxies together, dark energy repels and causes the expansion of the universe.
  • Despite both components being invisible, we know a lot more about dark matter, since its existence was suggested as early as the 1920s, while dark energy wasn’t discovered until 1998.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) If a major solar storm (solar flare) reaches the Earth, which of the following are the possible effects on the Earth? (2022)

  1. GPS and navigation systems could fail.
  2. Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions.
  3. Power grids could be damaged.
  4. Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth.
  5. Forest fires could take place over much of the planet.
  6. Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed.
  7. Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
  2. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 only
  3. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

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