View Full Version : DAMPE - China's dark matter particle explorer satellite

2015-May-30, 11:34 AM
China plans to launch a dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE) satellite to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter by the end of this year.


All key components of the satellite have been tested and are functioning well, and it is expected to launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center by the end of this year, the SECM said.

The satellite is designed to function for three years.

The probe, the first satellite in a program consisting of five research satellites, will also be used to study the origin of cosmic rays and observe high-energy gamma rays.

At the press briefing, Chang said DAMPE will have the widest observation spectrum and highest energy resolution of any dark matter probe in the world.

2016-Mar-24, 11:54 AM
Some more information of DAMPE and also some of background information of some of the scientist working on it. Good luck China. May you get the breakthrough on dark matter you are hoping for.


Hunting in the darkness of the universe, the hunters still don't know how their prey looks like or when and where it might pop up.

Their best clues are hidden in the chains of figures and diagrams entering computers in an inconspicuous white building of the Purple Mountain Observatory in downtown Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The computers are receiving data from the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), 500 kilometers away in space.

Chang Jin, chief scientist of China's DAMPE program, describes the search for the missing mass of the universe: "It must be there. But we don't know if we will be lucky enough to catch it, or even if it is a bear or a rabbit."

Scientists believe that only around 5 percent of the total mass-energy of the known universe is made up of ordinary matter -- protons, neutrons, electrons -- so dark matter and dark energy make up the rest.

Dark matter, like a ghost of the universe, does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be observed directly, and is one of the great mysteries of modern science.

2016-Dec-19, 11:23 AM
DAMPE satellite just completed one year in space :clap:


China’s dark matter-hunting satellite DAMPE celebrated its one year anniversary in space over the weekend, with the team now looking for unexpected results among collected data.

Launched on December 17, 2015, the 1,900kg DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) has spent the year measuring the spectra of extremely energetic gamma-rays and cosmic ray with the aim of identifying possible Dark Matter signatures.

Dark matter is mysterious matter inferred through gravitational effects, but has not been directly detected as it does not interact with electromagnetic radiation, and hence named ‘dark’.

2016-Dec-20, 03:34 AM
An article on DAMPE and also covers some background information on dark matter.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2016/12/chinas-new-search-for-signals-from-the-dark-universe.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheDailyGalaxyNewsFromPlanetE arthBeyond+%28The+Daily+Galaxy+--Great+Discoveries+Channel%3A+Sci%2C+Space%2C+Tech. %29

DAMPE boasts of a massive surface area, not only capably observing high cosmic ray volumes but also surveying the sky at high energies. It uses four instruments for capturing the high-energy particles and tracing them back to their origin: a BGO calorimeter, a plastic scintillator detector, a neutron detector and a silicon-tungsten tracker. The particle sources are believed to be dark matter collisions, possibly giving scientists new insight into the dark matter that can potentially help scientists follow a wealth of scientific pursuits, including studying oceanic depths on icy moons and mapping out layers of celestial bodies.

“[It’s] an exciting mission,” said Princeton University’s David Spergel of the DAMPE mission. A recent study in the Astrophysical Journal proposed that the solar system might be growing dark matter “hairs,” speculated to exist and sprout from Earth.

"When gravity interacts with the cold dark matter gas during galaxy formation, all particles within a stream continue traveling at the same velocity," explained Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, who proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, or "hairs."

Based on many observations of its gravitational pull in action, scientists are certain that dark matter exists, and have measured how much of it there is in the universe to an accuracy of better than one percent. The leading theory is that dark matter is "cold," meaning it doesn't move around much, and it is "dark" insofar as it doesn't produce or interact with light.

2017-Nov-30, 09:06 PM
China might have had a breakthrough in the search for dark matter.


The first science results from China's Wukong space probe indicate that the mission may have provided clues to the nature of the mystery of dark matter.

Dark matter is one of the great riddles of physics. While normal matter - making up the stars and planets and so on - is understood to account for just four percent of the mass-energy density of the universe, dark matter is believed to make up a quarter, yet its nature is unknown and yet to be detected. Its existence has been postulated through observations of the cosmos and, though elusive, it is key to the formation of the galaxies and structure of the universe.

Now, thanks to China's Wukong (Monkey King) aka DAMPE dark matter probe, another step towards understanding this enigma has been taken, according to results published in Nature on Wednesday.

The article in Science Magazine


A long-standing challenge in physics has been finding evidence for dark matter, the stuff presumed to make up a substantial chunk of the mass of the universe. Its existence seems to be responsible for the structure of the universe and the formation and evolution of galaxies. But physicists have yet to observe this mysterious material.

Results reported today by a China-led space science mission provide a tantalizing hint—but not firm evidence—for dark matter. Perhaps more significantly, the first observational data produced by China’s first mission dedicated to astrophysics shows that the country is set to become a force in space science, says David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton University. China is now "making significant contributions to astrophysics and space science," he says.

2017-Dec-01, 02:51 PM
More on dark matter. Interesting information in the article, that China runs the world's deepest underground dark matter lab in the southwest province of Sichuan, some 2,400 meters below the surface.


But what is dark matter?

Comparing the universe to a cosmic pie made up of three parts, scientists calculate that normal matter, such as atoms, stars, galaxies, trees, rocks and dust, accounts for just under 5 percent. About 26.8 percent is dark matter and 68.3 percent dark energy, both of which are invisible. Everything we experience is really a tiny fraction of reality.

2017-Dec-01, 04:10 PM
This 1.4 TeV signal looks interesting. I hope it turns out to be an artifact from decaying or annihilating dark matter, but even if it isn't, it is such a narrow peak that it must be something pretty cool.

2018-Jan-31, 08:30 AM
DAMPE was put out of action for 19 hours. Chief suspect is it was struck by a micrometeoroid.

Other than that it has be working smoothly. Results so far indicates the possible presence WIMPs and avenues for future investigation.


Since its launch in December 2015, the DAMPE satellite has measured the total cosmic ray electron and positron spectrum with unprecedentedly high energy resolution and low particle background contamination and, excitingly, has picked up the kind of signal it was hoped to find.

In its first 530 days of scientific observations, DAMPE detected 1.5 million cosmic ray electrons and positrons above 25 gigaelectron volts (GeV). The DAMPE team, when plotting the particles detected against their energies, found that the spectrum, otherwise a smooth curve as expected, experiences a break at around 0.9 and teraelectron volts (TeV) and a spike at around 1.4 TeV, suggesting the existence of an unknown particle.

This high energy resolution measurement confirms the “positron anomaly” previously suggested by satellite-based experiment PAMELA and AMS-02, which is mounted on the International Space Station (ISS).

"Analyses by theorists and astrophysicists indicate that the abnormal section of the spectrum is the result of the emergence of dark matter and when the dark matter dies out, a new particle appears. Wukong has made up for the gap of the abnormal spectrum that had not previously been detected in space and opened up a new window," Wu Ji, then director of the NSSC, told state media at the time.

2018-Dec-17, 01:00 PM
Wukong mission has been extended by two years.


China's Dark Matter Particle Explorer, nicknamed "Wukong" or "Monkey King," will extend its service in space by two years, as it is still in good condition and collecting key scientific data.

The research team operating the satellite said Monday that Wukong's key performance indicators have barely changed compared with three years ago when it was launched as China's first dark matter probe satellite.

As of Monday, the satellite has reached its expected service life of three years, having orbited the earth 16,597 times in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers, detecting around 5.5 billion cosmic particles.

2019-Sep-28, 09:16 AM
"Chinese satellite "Monkey King" sheds new light on origin of cosmic rays"


A Chinese satellite, nicknamed Monkey King, is not only searching for the invisible dark matter, but also exploring the origin of the cosmic rays, high energy particles that travel through space at nearly the speed of light.

An international research team has conducted a precise measurement of the spectrum of protons, the most abundant component of cosmic rays, in an energy range from 40 GeV to 100 TeV (one TeV is one trillion electron volts, corresponding to one trillion times the energy of visible light) with China's Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), also known as Wukong or Monkey King.

This is the first time that an experiment directly measures the cosmic ray protons up to the energy of 100 TeV with high precision, according to the research team.

The measured spectrum shows that the proton flux increases at hundreds of billions electron volts and then drops at around 14 TeV, indicating the existence of a new spectral feature of cosmic rays, said Chang Jin, the principal investigator of DAMPE and the director of the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

"The new finding is of great importance in helping scientists understand the source and acceleration of cosmic rays in the Milky Way," said Yuan Qiang, a researcher at PMO.