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Researchers have simulated the effect of a primordial black hole — an object hypothesized to make up dark matter — passing through a star. This image illustrates the resulting vibration waves as a primordial black hole (white dots) passes through the center of a star. The different colors correspond to the density of the primordial black hole and strength of the vibration.
CREDIT: Princeton University/Tim Sandstrom
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows NGC 1275, the galaxy located in the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The red threadlike filaments are composed of cool gas suspended by a magnetic field.
CREDIT: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Scientists may be able to spot evidence of elusive dark matter by watching for ripples on the surfaces of stars, a new study suggests.
Such vibrations could indicate that a strange, hypothetical dark-matter object known as a primordial black hole has passed through the stars, according to the study. The ripples could thus provide observable proof of dark matter, which is thought to make up more than 80 percent of all matter in the universe but has thus far evaded direct detection.
Scientists believe that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of "normal" material that we can see. The rest is strange stuff called dark energy and dark matter.
Though dark matter is thought to dominate the universe, scientists still have not observed the stuff directly, instead inferring its existence through gravitational effects on the matter they can see.
In this image, dark matter (blue) has become separated from luminous matter (red) in the bullet cluster. Image courtesy of Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The current mainstream thinking in the astrophysical community is that dark matter forms a sort of web that houses galaxies. Last week's edition of Science was a special issue devoted to this unseen cosmic web. It is believed that as the universe evolves, the gravitational attraction of dark matter causes galaxies to spin and collide, forming superclusters. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers looked at an area of the night sky about the size of the moon—specifically at galaxies contained in the massive supercluster Abell 901/902.
Since dark matter will distort light that passes through it, researchers were able to map areas that contain high densities of dark matter. The map (click for a larger image) was constructed by looking at more than 60,000 galaxies that exist 'behind' the Abell 901/902 supercluster. As the light from the galaxies passed through areas of dark matter in the supercluster, their light was bent and their apparent shape distorted; these distortions revealed areas with a high density of dark matter. The study pinpointed four such regions of high dark matter density. Calculations suggest that these four clumps contain more than 10 trillion times the mass of our sun. The researchers state that these area are known to have violent pasts where hundreds of galaxies migrated from the outskirts of the supercluster to these regions of space.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, C. Heymans, M. Gray, and STAGES Collaboration
Originally posted by smarterthanyou
Interesting thread, makes you wonder about the physics of stars, and really we have little knowledge of stars beyond what we can speculate and hypothesize on based on current knowledge of physics, and astrology.
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
If there are primordial black holes it would be possible for one to pass through the Sun. For that matter, it's possible for one to pass through you.
No, there has been no evidence found for the existence of primordial black holes. That's what the article is about, something to look for.
Originally posted by fibraz4jacked
i dunno exactly the truth those are just the theories ive read. but yeah how could a black hole exist inside the sun without consuming the sun? makes no sense to me
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Americanist
Talking about primordial black holes.
Different critters from the ones that have been created since the earliest times of the Universe. These guys are tiny and so far theoretical. The big ones are known to exist.