China has successfully launched its 13th satellite of the year named DAMPE — Dark Matter Particle Explorer. China’s reliable Long March 2-S rocket was used to lift up the dark matter satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre located in Gansu Province, China on Thursday. The dark matter satellite
The dark matter satellite DAMPE will study the presence of dark matter that constitutes most of our universe and it will also unveil lesser known facts about the mysterious dark matter by analysing high-energy cosmic rays in space.
After searching for dark matter for two years, the probe will be used for several different missions for next three years. As per the schedule, DAMPE will be operational for five years cumulatively.
“The main scientific objective of DAMPE is to measure electrons and photons with much higher energy resolution and energy reach than achievable with existing space experiments in order to identify possible dark matter signatures,” scientists wrote in a description of the mission on the University of Geneva’s website. “It has also great potential in advancing the understanding of the origin and propagation mechanism of high energy cosmic rays, as well as in new discoveries in high energy gamma astronomy.”
Chinese scientists also call DAMPE as “Wukong”, named after the iconic Monkey King with penetrating eyes that appeared in the Chinese classical fiction “Journey to the West”.
For those who don’t know, Dark Matter cannot be seen with naked eyes and not even with telescopes. However, it is a hypothetical kind of matter that constitutes more than 85 percent of our universe. You might wonder if we can’t see dark matter then how do we know that it exists? Actually, scientists have recorded the effect of dark matter like gravitational pull or push on the visible matter. Previous studies have suggested that the dark matter is omnipresent.
Scientists believe that studying dark matter may solve the darkest secrets of our universe and it may also unravel the mystery of birth and evolution of our universe.