I haven’t had the time to go through the paper so I can’t offer many insights (and my favourite physics bloggers have yet to cover it…that’s right, I’m looking you dead in the eye Sean Carroll) but it seems as though an anomalous x-ray spectral emission is causing some eyebrows to be raised in the lab.
The line is weak, but detectable, sitting at around the 3.5 keV range. Basically spectroscopy is the science of taking light (including the infra-red and ultra-violet spectrum within this) and splitting it into it’s component colours, measuring them and then using that data to figure out what it was that emitted that light. Depending on what materials were present in the object that emitted the light, the narrow bands of solidly coloured light you are able to see after the splitting process will tell you what the object is made out of. That’s the laymans version, at least. Continue reading