Saturday, June 2, 2012

Blank On The Map: An explanation of the recent dark matter controversy

About two weeks ago, I mentioned a recently published paper by Chilean authors Moni Bidin et al., claiming to have found no evidence for dark matter around our local neighbourhood in the Milky Way. Very soon afterwards, I pointed out a new pre-print by Bovy and Tremaine that rebutted this claim. Although I suppose I was fairly quickly on the scene, I wasn't particularly happy with the way I had reported this argument: just mentioning that some people disagree with each other without any explanation of the reasons is a bit closer to mere journalism than I was intending.

So this post will attempt to summarise and explain both papers to a non-expert (i.e. anyone who doesn't actually work in the field of galactic dynamics).

Read the rest at Blank On The Map