China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer has been officially blasted off into orbit. The major aspect that this explorer will do is help better understand high-energy astrophysics, as well as high-energy radiation. This high-energy radiation can also have an effect on any astronauts that NASA sends to Mars. Dark matter signatures may be detected as well.
WHAT DARK MATTER IS
Dark matter is a matter that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It can not be seen using a telescope either. However, even though it can not be seen it still makes up a majority of the matter in the universe. The properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on high-energy radiation, as well as on visible matter. It also does not emit light or absorb light either. It is a very mysterious kind of matter.
CHINA’S DARK MATTER PARTICLE EXPLORER LAUNCHED
On December 17th, China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer was launched above a satellite center in China. Once this explorer finally reaches the Earth’s low-level orbit, it will begin detecting cosmic rays. A signal may also be produced from the dark matter. China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer features the best sensitive detector ever unveiled in space. An astrophysicist from Princeton University, David Spergel, states that this could help them discover dark matter.
THIS WILL HELP DETECT HIGH-ENERGY RADIATION
China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer will also be analyzing WIMPs. WIMPs are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles. The explorer is not actually analyzing the WIMPs themselves, but the high-energy radiation that is emitted when they collide. Also, it is going to be analyzing this high-energy radiation around the earth. Not only that but also the threat of it when astronauts are sent to Mars.
ASTRONAUTS TO MARS WILL BE AFFECTED BY HIGH-ENERGY RADIATION
Whenever NASA decides to send astronauts to Mars, they need to be aware of the high risk of high-energy radiation exposure. If those who are going to Mars are exposed for too long, the consequences could be disastrous. Hopefully, China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer can help detect any for the future. When sending astronauts to Mars, NASA needs to make sure that high-energy radiation will not be a problem.