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Dark matter could make planets that would otherwise be hostile to life habitable, a new study suggests. It suggests that in areas rich in dark matter, particles of the stuff could collect inside free-floating planets that have no star to warm them, heating them enough to maintain liquid water on their surfaces.

No one knows what dark matter is – astronomers merely detect its gravitational pull on normal matter, which it seems to outweigh by a factor of five to one. But many researchers believe it is made of particles called WIMPs, which interact only weakly with normal matter but annihilate on contact with each other, creating a spray of energetic particles.

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"Not if my theory is correct. In my theory dark matter is a phase of quantum vacuum with positive zero point pressure. There are no particles no WIMPS to collect. Of course my theory of the Pioneer Anomaly coming from dark matter has just been proven false. It's a mundane heat effect." -- Jack Sarfatti 3-30-11
Category: Science