Image of a blue-white sphere, representing the star.

Enlarge / Neutron stars may produce radio signals when interacting with dark matter. (credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

Dark matter is proving elusive. Apart from the gravitational evidence, which is strong, all the other potential indications of it haven’t held up to scrutiny. One issue may be that we simply don’t know how to look for it, so detectors are based on informed guesses about how we might expect to find dark matter. One approach to these searches is to look for places in the Universe that might generate a dark matter signal.

This is exactly the approach taken by some physicists in a recent Physical Review Letter. In their case, they suggest that dark matter might produce a weak, but quite narrow, bandwidth radio signal from neutron stars.

This team is not the first to propose looking for dark matter signatures in the Universe. Excess gamma rays from the center of our own galaxy were, for a while, thought to be a possible signature of dark matter. But, as with all these proposals, the work focuses on a particular version of dark matter.

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