12/4/18 Show feat. Astrophysicist Alwin Mao on Dark Matter Hurricanes

Featured image: The Magellanic Stream spans a vast stretch of our sky, and it is weighted down with clumps of dark matter (courtesy Nidever et al., NRAO)

This week’s episode delivers the descriptive Alwin Mao, astrophysicist and researcher on cosmic ray pressure. Alwin follows galactic meteorology, and one weather event that intrigues him is the ongoing dark matter hurricane our part of the Milky Way is experiencing. These torrents of dark matter were brought by miniature galaxies that collided with ours in the past. But since dark matter doesn’t interact with atoms, we don’t notice a thing — and scientists only recently learned about the hurricanes by studying the motion of nearby stars. Thanks to Alwin for bringing these outer space dynamics to life!

In other news: A set of new black hole collisions has been revealed by the awe-inspiring LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave telescopes, giving a more thorough glimpse into the nature of a “usual” cosmic collision.

The playlist can be found on WPRB.com or below.


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