In Search of the Dark Matter WIMPs

While scientists are not yet sure what exactly comprises the dark matter in the universe, a group of scientists and engineers from MIT, Boston University and Brandeis University presented their design for a directional dark matter detector. Originally unveiled at a meeting in Stockholm this past summer, details of the design are now available online, prior to the publication of their report to appear in the Proceedings of Science. This group believes that the cold dark matter is largely made up of weakly interacting massive particles, comically referred to as WIMPs. You can examine their design paper online at

Yet Two More Extrasolar Planets Announced

You don’t have to wait long for another announcement of a discovery of extrasolar planets. Just today, in a paper to appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by a team of scientists with the Magellan Planet Search, specifically the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search (CHEPS), astronomers announced the discovery of two planets orbiting the star HD191760. Their best fit of the spectral data leads them to conclude that the mass of one of the planets is about one-third the mass of our own Jupiter. The larger of the planets, and further out from HD191760 is over seven times the mass of Jupiter. To learn more about this see the authors’ pre-print at