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Activity #7 — Dark Matter Possibilities


  1. The student will be able to complete the graphic organizer using the knowledge gained from reading section "C- Possibilities for Dark Matter".
  2. The student will gain a greater understanding of the three possibilities for the hidden mass in galaxies.


  1. Reread the Possibilities for Dark Matter. Complete the graphic organizer, "Decision-Making", stating the pros and cons of the possibilities.
  2. To complete the assessment, read the definition of Einstein’s Theory of Gravity given after the Assessment.

Decision Making

Problem Goals
What can the dark matter be?
  1. Provide a conceptual framework for integrating new information.
  2. Process and reorganize information.
  3. Select important ideas and details.
Possibilities   Pros  up  and Cons  down

MACHOs (Massive Compact Halo Objects)

  • Neutron Stars & Black Holes
  • White Dwarfs
  • Brown Dwarfs



WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles)

  1. Exotic subatomic particles, such as axions, massive neutrinos, photinos



Hydrogen Gas



Assessment: Could Einstein’s Theory of Gravity, which has proved to be correct in all cases so far, be somehow wrong? Justify your answer.

Einstein’s Theory in a Nutshell: Space-time tells matter how to move. Matter tells space-time how to bend.

Decision(s) Reason(s)


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration