Scientists think there’s a “dark matter hurricane” heading toward Earth. In fact, it might even be blowing through us already.
But don’t worry — it’s definitely not going to kill you. Mostly, it’s just a bunch of normal dark matter with especially good branding. And it really is headed (more or less) this way.
Here’s what’s going on: Back in 2017, astronomers spotted a stretched-out line of stars passing through our solar system’s general region of the Milky Way. The scientists named this group the “S1 stream,” identifying it as the nearest of several stellar streams moving through the galaxy. Parades of stars like these form when the Milky Way gobbles up a dwarf galaxy, stretching the smaller object out in the process. In a new paper, published Nov. 7 in the journal Physical Review D, researchers argued that S1 might be carrying with it a hefty load of dark matter from the original dwarf galaxy. And they gave that baggage the snazzy name “dark matter hurricane.”
Again, that hurricane is not going to kill you. Or blow the door off your house. But it just may cause some local spikes in dark matter, which would help researchers hunting dark matter actually find the stuff, the researchers wrote.