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Dark Matter ‘Hairs’ Around Jupiter

This artist's rendering zooms in on what dark matter "hairs" might look like around Earth
The root of a dark matter hair produced from particles going through Jupiter's core would be about 1 trillion times denser than average.

This illustration shows Jupiter surrounded by filaments of dark matter called “hairs,” which are proposed in a study in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

A hair is created when a stream of dark matter particles goes through the planet. According to simulations, the hair is densest at a point called the “root.” When particles of a dark matter stream pass through the core of Jupiter, they form a hair whose root has a particle density about a trillion times greater than average.

The size of Jupiter relative to the distance between Jupiter and the hair roots is to scale.

See PIA20176 and PIA20177 for illustrations of dark matter hairs around Earth.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech