This article discusses one of the main problems of modern astronomy: the problem of dark matter in the universe. Possible candidates for objects of dark matter are analyzed. The history of the search for particles is presented, telling how axions and weakly interacting massive particles have been sought by astronomical methods based on an analysis of the intensity, the spectral distribution, and variations of optical and ionizing radiations of the sun and the stars. The role of the sun is singled out as a physical laboratory for searching for weakly interacting particles (axions) that generate optical and x-ray photons as a result of decay and conversion in a magnetic field. It is shown that the Permanent Space Solar Patrol has promise for searching for axions generated at the center of the sun. © 2005 Optical Society of America
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