The sun is a searing 9,941 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface. And yet one scientist says what lies beneath may not be so hot at all, as dark matter works to cool it at the center. Royal Holloway’s Dr. Stephen West has a theory that the mysterious substance, which comprises an astonishing 80 percent of the universe, and whose very existence has been a subject of hot debate recently, actually has a lasting effect on the sun to chill it out.
Everyone is told that staring at the sun too long will cause you to go blind. And yet Dr. West, though studying the sun for years has only been endowed with brilliant insight. The unexpected find has Dr. West and his colleagues excited as they propose a study on the Sun to discover the mysterious energy. Dark matter is a substance that has never been created in a lab or even directly observed, though its effects can be seen every night with a high powered telescope as stars exhibit unexplained gravitational perturbations with which scientists can speculate more gravity (and therefore mass) must somehow invisibly exist.
And yet if this matter is affected by gravity, then Dr. West says, it can get caught up in other passing celestial bodies. One prime candidate would be the sun, which has been traveling through the galaxy for several million years with matter collecting within it. The sun must therefore have not only a small amount, but a great deal of dark matter built up within it. This collection would then be absorbed and travel to the center of the sun where it would collect in a massive pool at the center, cooling the sun as it takes in massive amounts of the mysterious energy. And if this were the case, then this Dark Matter would still exist in our very own dark matter collector, locked away behind two billion billion billion tons of helium and fire.
By creating and then studying several simulations on the effect this buildup could have, Dr. West has theorized that the heat from the core could be absorbed by dark matter and then repelled outward while the center cools. As a result, those comparing heat to the center of the sun may actually be wrong. According to this theory, the center of the sun could actually be freezing.
Dr. West goes on, as Science Daily reports, to speculate on the possibility that not only could dark matter be there as a chance occurrence of its travel through the stars, but could actually play an important role in solar physics. Although, before this possibility is confirmed, further study is warranted, including further study of Dark Matter such as the experiments scheduled at CERN the Large Hadron Collider and Fermilab.
Though we may not ritually revere the sun as much as the Aztecs did, there is certainly a great deal of attention being given to our Solar friend even today. And with this incredible attention a sense of awe and wonder soon follows making it certain that we will be asking questions and studying for many years to come.