Black Holes and Dark Matter...


Artist's impression of a microlensing event caused by a black hole observed from Earth toward the Large Magellanic Cloud. The light of a background star located in the LMC is bent by a putative primordial black hole (lens) in the Galactic halo and magnified when observed from the Earth. Microlensing causes very characteristic variation of brightness of the background star, enabling the determination of the lens's mass and distance. Credit: J. Skowron / OGLE. Background image of the Large Magellanic Cloud: generated with bsrender written by Kevin Loch, using the ESA/Gaia database

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Black Holes, Dark Matter

The gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo have detected a population of massive black holes whose origin is one of the biggest mysteries in modern astronomy. According to one hypothesis, these objects may have formed in the very early universe and may include dark matter, a mysterious substance filling the universe.

A team of scientists from the OGLE (Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment) survey from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw have announced the results of nearly 20-year-long observations indicating that such massive black holes may comprise at most a few percent of dark matter. Another explanation, therefore, is needed for gravitational wave sources. The results of the research were published in a study in Nature and a study in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Various astronomical observations indicate that ordinary matter, which we can see or touch, comprises only 5% of the total mass and energy budget of the universe. In the Milky Way, for every 1 kg of ordinary matter in stars, there is 15 kg of dark matter, which does not emit any light and interacts only by means of its gravitational pull.

"The nature of dark matter remains a mystery. Most scientists think it is composed of unknown elementary particles," says Dr. Przemek Mr.óz from the Astronomical Observatory, University of Warsaw, the lead author of both articles. "Unfortunately, despite decades of efforts, no experiment (including experiments carried out with the Large Hadron Collider) has found new particles that could be responsible for dark matter."

New research challenges black holes as dark matter explanation, University of Warsaw,

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