June 25, 2014

NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory has found a mysterious X-ray signal that astronomers are speculating could signal the presence of dark matter some 240 million light years away from Earth.

A leading theory, NASA reports, is that the X-rays are a result of decaying "sterile neutrinos," which are particles that could potentially produce dark matter. Astronomers believe dark matter accounts for 85 percent of all matter in the universe, but dark matter does not emit or absorb light as does the "normal" matter in planets, stars, and galaxies, so its detection is much more difficult.

NASA notes that normal matter may also have created the emission line, which appeared in the Perseus galaxy cluster, but astronomers are excited at the prospect that the sterile neutrinos may be at play. The scientists' next step will be combining the data with results from other missions to see if the same X-ray signal appears in other galaxy clusters. Thus far, the line has also been found in 73 other galaxy clusters using NASA's XMM-Newton.

"We know that the dark matter explanation is a long shot, but the pay-off would be huge if we're right," Esra Bulbul, leader of the study and a fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told NASA. "We're going to keep testing this interpretation and see where it takes us."

Astronomers have yet to determine what caused the emission, but for now, check out an image of the signal below. --Meghan DeMaria

8:31 p.m. ET
Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

The Walt Disney Co. is exploring the idea of bidding on Twitter, people close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal Monday.

Twitter has also held preliminary talks with Inc, but they are in the very early stages, and there is no guarantee either company will buy the struggling social media service. The number of Twitter users is growing slowly, as is revenue, and senior executives continue to leave. The company has a stock market value of close to $20 billion, with shares rising 3.3 percent to $23.37 on Monday.

Disney has recently invested in Hulu and Vice, and in August, spent $1 billion for a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, which Twitter uses to livestream sporting events. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also on the board of The Walt Disney Company, and views Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger as a mentor, WSJ reports. Catherine Garcia

7:52 p.m. ET

Monday night saw the first Miami Marlins game since the team's star pitcher, José Fernández, 24, was killed Sunday morning in a boat crash in Miami Beach, Florida. With the entire team wearing Fernández's jersey number in tribute to their teammate, leadoff batter Dee Gordon stepped up to the plate against the New York Mets.

Gordon's first swing was right-handed, mimicking the way Fernández hit at the plate. Then Gordon switched over to his natural left hand to take the second pitch — and hit his first homerun of all of his 323 plate appearances this year:

It doesn't matter who you root for — this one is for the books. Watch the incredible moment, below. Jeva Lange

7:38 p.m. ET
Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, also known as Timochenko, formally signed a peace accord in Cartagena, ending the longest running armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere.

The deal came together after four years of negotiations and 52 years of war, which resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000 people. There's one final step left: On Sunday, voters will participate in a national referendum to either support or reject the peace deal. The Colombia Reports news site says a recent poll shows 66 percent of voters support the 297-page accord, and if it is approved, the government expects it will take 10 years for rebels to be disarmed and reintegrate into society. The government also plans to compensate victims of violence and try war criminals in court. Catherine Garcia

6:46 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Credit scores are checked by employers, landlords, utility companies, and lenders, and that's one reason why some consumer advocates are worried about Wells Fargo opening millions of phony accounts.

Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million for letting employees open checking and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge, and while the company says it is contacting customers to find out if the accounts they have are authorized and promises to try to make restitution, it's highly likely credit scores have been majorly affected. When credit cards are issued, it's reflected on an individual's credit report. In some cases, NPR reports, Wells Fargo employees took money from a customer's existing account and moved it into a new account, which could have lead to insufficient funds and late fees. There's also the possibility of customers not paying the annual fee for a credit card, since they couldn't make a payment for an account they didn't know was open.

These little dings to a credit report can add up, Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, told NPR. "You may not have qualified for a mortgage or you might have been dinged by getting charged a little higher interest rate because of what was reported wrongly on your credit report," he said. Rheingold wants to know how Wells Fargo is going to be able to figure out how the fake accounts affected customers — did a person miss out on getting a job because an employer saw late payments on their credit score? Will they be able to find out if a person received a higher interest rate on their mortgage because of inaccurate information? Even if all that can be determined, "once something affects a consumer's credit report and credit scores, it has the potential to have a lot of impact across the consumer's entire economic life," attorney Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center told NPR. Catherine Garcia

6:29 p.m. ET

The first gaffe of the presidential debate goes to … the presidential debate itself!

Of Hofstra University's 10,870 enrolled students, 350 won tickets to attend the debate through a lottery system. Hofstra University spokeswoman Karla Schuster clarified to NBC New York that the misspelled tickets "are not official tickets to the debate. They were printed at the last minute to create a souvenir for the students. We'll be reprinting them for all those who won tickets." Still, students were not having it:

Don't sweat it, kids — in a few years, those "Hilary" tickets might even be collectibles. Jeva Lange

6:08 p.m. ET

Green Party candidate Jill Stein was escorted away from Hofstra University ahead of Monday night's presidential debate — the second time in four years that she's had a run-in with the police at a debate hosted on Hofstra's campus.

Stein won't be appearing on the debate stage Monday because she failed to reach 15 percent in the national polls, the minimum requirement for a candidate to be included in the presidential debate. She is polling at around 2.4 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson also failed to reach 15 percent nationally, and will be live tweeting the debate from Twitter's offices in New York City.

Stein, on the other hand, planned to livestream "from a protest outside the debate venue," The Daily Dot reports, only when she turned up, the Nassau County police promptly sent her packing:

It could have been worse: In 2012, Stein spent eight hours handcuffed to a chair at Hofstra University for protesting her exclusion from the debate. Jeva Lange

4:49 p.m. ET

Data released Monday by the FBI revealed that murders in the United States rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015. After two decades trending downward, the murder rate rose 10.8 percent between 2014 and 2015, the "biggest single-year percentage jump since 1971," The Guardian notes.

The bulk of the increase was due to a jump in the murders of black men, as the data shows at least 900 more black men were killed in 2015 than in 2014. Additionally, 71.5 percent of murders in 2015 were committed with firearms, up from 67.9 percent in 2014.

The increase put the total murders in the U.S. at 15,696, just shy of 2009's number — but still just half of the total in 1991, the peak of the country's violent crime wave. Read more about the FBI's latest data at The Guardian. Kimberly Alters

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