While we cannot directly observe them, every galaxy has its own halo of dark matter, on which familiar, visible matter hangs. Our solar system orbits the centre of our galaxy, while Earth orbits the Sun. As we do this, our motion through the Milky Way’s halo of dark matter creates the Headwind Effect. Dr Grace Lawrence asked whether this Headwind exhibits “gusts” of higher intensity.
Just as we cannot see the air, we can see its effect on the objects it moves, such as swaying tree branches in the wind. Similarly, dark matter is composed of particles that cannot be seen or felt directly, but astrophysicists like Professor Alan Duffy can detect its presence from the effect these particles have on observable phenomena.