Illustris simulation, showing the distribution of dark matter in 350 million by 300,000 light years. Galaxies are shown as high-density white dots (left) and as normal, baryonic matter (right). Credit: Markus Haider/Illustris

Are Supermassive Black Holes Hiding Matter?

Article Updated: 21 Aug , 2016
by

Mapping the Universe with satellites and ground-based observatories have not only provided scientists with a pretty good understanding of its structure, but also of its composition. And for some time now, they have been working with a model that states that the Universe consists of 4.9% “normal” matter (i.e. that which we can see), 26.8% “dark matter” (that which we can’t), and 68.3% “dark energy”.

From what they have observed, scientists have also concluded that the normal matter in the Universe is concentrated in web-like filaments, which make up about 20% of the Universe by volume. But a recent study performed by the Institute of Astro- and Particle Physics at the University of Innsbruck in Austria has found that a surprising amount of normal matter may live in the voids, and that black holes may have deposited it there.

In a paper submitted to the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr. Haider and his team described how they performed measurements of the mass and volume of the Universe’s filamentary structures to get a better idea of where the Universe’s mass is located. To do this, they used data from the Illustris project – a large computer simulation of the evolution and formation of galaxies.

Illustration of the Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: A history of the Universe starting from a singularity and expanding ever since. Credit: grandunificationtheory.com

As an ongoing research project run by an international collaboration of scientists (and using supercomputers from around the world), Illustris has created the most detailed simulations of our Universe to date. Beginning with conditions roughly 300,000 years after the Big Bang, these simulations track how gravity and the flow of matter changed the structure of the cosmos up to the present day, roughly 13.8 billion years later.

The process begins with the supercomputers simulating a cube of space in the universe, which measures some 350 million light years on each side. Both normal and dark matter are dealt with, particularly the gravitational effect that dark matter has on normal matter. Using this data, Haider and his team noticed something very interesting about the distribution of matter in the cosmos.

Essentially, they found that about 50% of the total mass of the Universe is compressed into a volume of 0.2%, consisting of the galaxies we see. A further 44% is located in the enveloping filaments, consisting of gas particles and dust. The remaining 6% is located in the empty spaces that fall between them (aka. the voids), which make up 80% of the Universe.

However, a surprising faction of this normal matter (20%) appears to have been transported there, apparently by the supermassive black holes located at the center of galaxies. The method for this delivery appears to be in how black holes convert some of the matter that regularly falls towards them into energy, which is then delivered to the sounding gas, leading to large outflows of matter.

This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s impression of a supermassive black holes at the hearts of a galaxy. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

These outflows stretch for hundreds of thousands of lights years beyond the host galaxy, filling the void with invisible mass. As Dr. Haider explains, these conclusions supported by this data are rather startling. “This simulation,” he said, “one of the most sophisticated ever run, suggests that the black holes at the center of every galaxy are helping to send matter into the loneliest places in the universe. What we want to do now is refine our model, and confirm these initial findings.”

The findings are also significant because they just may offer an explanation to the so-called “missing baryon problem”. In short, this problem describes how there is an apparent discrepancy between our current cosmological models and the amount of normal matter we can see in the Universe. Even when dark matter and dark energy are factored in, half of the remaining 4.9% of the Universe’s normal matter still remains unaccounted for.

For decades, scientists have been working to find this “missing matter”, and several suggestions have been made as to where it might be hiding. For instance, in 2011, a team of students at the Monash School of Physics in Australia confirming that some of it was in the form of low-density, high energy matter that could only be observed in the x-ray wavelength.

In 2012, using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a NASA research team reported that our galaxy, and the nearby Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, were surrounded by an enormous halo of hot gas that was invisible at normal wavelengths. These findings indicated that all galaxies may be surrounded by mass that, while not visible to the naked eye, is nevertheless detectable using current methods.

And just days ago, researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) described how they had used fast radio bursts (FRBs) to measure the density of cosmic baryons in the intergalactic medium – which yielded results that seem to indicate that our current cosmological models are correct.

Factor in all the mass that is apparently being delivered to the void by supermassive black holes, and it could be that we finally have a complete inventory of all the normal matter of the Universe. This is certainly an exciting prospect, as it means that one of the greatest cosmological mysteries of our time could finally be solved.

Now if we could just account for the “abnormal” matter in the Universe, and all that dark energy, we’d be in business!

Further Reading: Royal Astronomical Society

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26 Responses

  1. btraymd says:

    It’s time to throw out everything that cosmology has given us and start from scratch using what we now know from the latest radio telescope data. We should abandon all unproven and hypothetical mathematical conjecture like dark matter and dark energy. Given recent findings these ideas are not required if we stick with the known facts and recent observations.
    First of all the use of the term “black hole” is totally inappropriate. These structures are found at the center of galaxies and should be called galactic centers or galactic nuclei. They are not holes of any kind and are not really black. They appear to be powerful electromagnetic phenomenon and there is really no proven role for gravity in their structure or function. For example, they have been found to be surrounded by massive magnetic fields. This strongly implies an equally massive flow of charged particles (current) within the structure . They also emit tremendous amounts of electromagnetic radiation mainly in the xray and gamma spectrums but have just been found to emit visible light as well. Finally they have also been documented to emit plasma jets.
    This leads to one rational conclusion…galactic nuclei are massive, super dense, rapidly rotating plasmoids. There is experimental evidence for this as well. Anthony Peratt at Los Alamos National Labs demonstrated spiral galaxy formation using only plasma, electric current and magnetic fields. His models also had the necessary velocity to maintain spiral galaxy structure without the need for dark matter.
    This electromagnetic model has a big plus side in that it does not require the known laws of physics to break down and be abandoned as does the current standard model. Fantastic concepts such as the “singularity”, “black holes” and “dark matter” are not required. This is beneficial because none of these models has been observed, confirmed experimentally or have any useful predictive value.
    Gravity from mass approaching infinite density is also not required. This is because electromagnetic forces are 10 to the 39th times more powerful than gravity. In fact, one sound presentation by Wal Thornhill titled the “Long Road to Understanding Gravity” makes a solid case that gravity is nothing more than a weak form of electromagnetism.
    Another area where we should start to employ some common sense is concerning the structure of stars. Let’s look at the sun which is a good example. What we know for certain is the surface of the sun is composed of plasma and massive magnetic fields. We also know that the surface is about 5-6,000 degrees while the upper corona reaches temperatures in the millions of degrees. This strongly argues against a power source in the core despite “magnetic reconnection” which Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvens first proposed then stated could not exist. Historic findings recently published strongly suggest that the main source of the sun’s energy does not come from the core. The latest IBEX mission published it’s findings in the 2015 October Supplement of the Astrophysical Journal. In a series of 14 papers they detailed the findings of massive interstellar currents of helium entering the sun. How this can be ignored given the current problems with the standard model (there are over a dozen findings that contradict the model) is a mystery to me. It shows how an invested few can steadfastly resist any change to ideas they have lived by faced with the loss of prestige and funding. But the data is overwhelming. The electromagnetic model of the sun is the only one that is consistent with the current body of data. It also makes sense and is consistent with the known laws of plasma physics and electrical engineering.
    I really believe that NASA sees the massive shift in paradigm coming, that is from a gravity based model of cosmology to one of electromagnetism. They invited Donald Scott to address the 2009 Goddard Colloquim on Engineering. Scott is the author of 2 books. The first is a textbook on electrical engineering which is considered the bible among universities in the U.S. His second book called the “Electric Sky” and is very thought provoking and sound scientifically. In his presentation he opened every one’s eyes with his interpretation of various nebulae photographs. He made a strong case that these are really intergalactic Birkeland currents using basic principles of electrical engineering. I found it quite convincing and it was well received by the NASA scientists in attendance. Scott is a sound academic man and is very logical and grounded. He is not a crackpot or lunatic. His views deserve strong consideration.
    My goal in writing this comment is to hopefully give others a starting point to consider other ideas about the current state of cosmology. I believe the standard model is in big trouble and say this because it has no useful predictive value. It seems that every new discovery is a “mystery” that fits no where in the current model. This type of invalidation should be a powerful clue that new lines of thought should be strongly considered.

    • mewo says:

      Moderators, can we please start again enforcing the Universe Today rules against long-winded inarticulate ranting? Every time there’s a post on black holes or electromagnetic phenomena this guy slams us with the same copy-pasted rambling wall of text. It’s tedious.

      • Dark Gnat says:

        Agreed. This is essentially spam.

      • btraymd says:

        Are you really begging the moderators to squash opinions that are well presented and backed up with recent radio telescope data because they may vary from the current standard model?? How pathetic.
        If you lack the knowledge or education to directly address the comments I have made then why reply at all.
        My comments were made to provoke legitimate scientific debate as opposed to the regurgitation of theories based on unproven and unobserved mathematical conjecture.
        I can’t imagine what precipitates your emotional pleas for help in lieu of a scientifically sound response to the issues I have raised.
        I don’t claim to know the answers to the issues I have raised but I simply present a viewpoint which seems to be supported by the most recent radio telescope data. I support these views with models that are consistent with the known laws of plasma physics and electrical engineering. Perhaps this is more than you care to consider.
        If not, then please share your opinion on Donald Scott’s presentation to NASA at the 2009 Goddard Colloquim on Engineering. This may be beneath you but I assure you the NASA scientists that heard it felt it was worthy of serious consideration.
        Instead of crying, why not enter a meaningful discussion, if you are able??

      • mewo says:

        UniverseToday has, or had, rules against using the comment section to promote incoherent pseudoscientific babble. I’m asking the moderators to begin enforcing them again.

        I certainly have no issue with genuine debate about genuine science. My problem is with indulging crackpot lunacy, which is exactly what the Electric Universe idea is.

      • btraymd says:

        Name calling and opinions without any scientific support should certainly be excluded.

      • mewo says:

        If it’s acceptable for you to call people pathetic, to call scientists frauds, dand to accuse people of lacking knowledge and education, then it is OK for me to describe the Electric Universe hypothesis as crackpot pseudoscience.

    • Zoutsteen says:

      Betray MD,

      You read replies? If you do …

      Woho, you spewing stuff at terminal velocities without proper verification.
      If you travel at terminal velocity than even the water’s surface is as tough as brick.
      With water being the readers of your comment(s).

      Lets start with your opening (first of all) comment:
      Renaming Black Holes? Those are remnants of a Stellar collapse, where the curvature of space around them is larger than the perpendicular velocity of light.

      Not sure if Galactic Nuclei would be a good replacement, As there is most often exactly just one super massive black hole at the center, while the rest of the black holes are just traveling round in the galactic disk.

      So, maybe you already missed something with your opening comment? With renaming stuff? And hitting water? A bit to fast?

      (sorry if the water thing doesn’t pan out … not important)

      • btraymd says:

        IMO the term “black hole” best defines the predictive value of the current standard model. The use of the term”black hole” to describe galactic centers is totally inappropriate……hole in what??? Maybe the scientists that use this term are thinking it is a rabbit hole?? The continued adherence to a term that is so useless reflects a significant lack of understanding. This isn’t hard to believe since the current model is purely mathematical conjecture that requires the total breakdown of the known laws of physics. This model survived only because of the lack of documented evidence.
        But in the last several years advances in radio astronomy have given us remarkable data that should be considered no matter how heretical the implications may be.
        Massive magnetic fields, plasma jets, emission of electromagnetic radiation in the gamma, xray and visible light spectrums have all been documented by NASA missions. The theoretical concepts of accretion discs and singularities don’t quite make sense and are far fetched to say the least. This is predictable since their existence is only based on mathematics. It makes more sense to view these galactic centers as electromagnetic bodies since all of the newest data reveals only electromagnetic properties. These bodies are clearly essential in galaxy structure since they are found at the center of virtually every galaxy. Most compelling however is that the only experimental evidence for the structure of spiral galaxies was achieved by Anthony Peratt in the 1980’s. Peratt is a world class plasma physicist working at the Los Alamos National Laboratories. He demonstrated the formation of spiral galaxies using ONLY MAGNETIC FIELDS, PLASMA AND ELECTRIC CURRENT. IMO his work will eventually receive the Nobel prize but for some reason (lol) no one wants to reference it today.
        To my knowledge, it is the only experimental evidence that sheds light on the matter of galaxy formation yet it is being ignored. To ignore sound experimental evidence and support fantastic mathematical theory that cannot be observed or validated borders on lunacy. This situation is a testament to the incredible dedication cosmologists have to the belief that gravity is the driving force for star and galaxy formation. There appears to be no limit to the evidence that will be ignored.
        So I guess I am just singing in the wind. If not, please educate me and address the points I have made. I believe I can understand any point you wish to make as I was an A student in physics and calculus on my way to obtaining my MD degree. I have an open mind which I believe is essential for any advance in cosmology to be achieved.

      • Zoutsteen says:

        A black hole is just named so, because light cannot escape the gravitational pull once it reaches the event horizon.

        Its not a hole in the universe, but science fiction writers have used black holes for many things, from time traveling (Sphere) , to Kessel runs (Star Wars) to spawning evil things (Event Horizon) etc.

        It is just a star, but compressed to high densities with no information coming from it. No light, no electric radiation, no nothing (except the Theorized Hawking Radiation)

        If our sun would have been a blackhole, than nothing special happens, except … no sunshine .. no blackhole shine.
        Of coarse, the minimum mass seems to be about 3 solar masses, but it gives you an idea of .. it will be dark.

        Here is a vid where black hole sizes are compared to our system, with the amount of solar masses it contains in a animated graphical way.

    • Harmonograms says:

      You are extremely rude to proselytize in a science forum. Yahoo provides areas for religious zealots to regurgitate the tenets of their belief systems to each other all day long. In here, we are discussing new knowledge about our universe which has nothing to do with discarded and refuted EU mythology.

      • btraymd says:

        The EU theory is being validated by current radio telescope data. Perhaps you would like to comment on the IBEX findings published in the Astrophysical Journal that I referenced. Or at least you could comment on the massive magnetic fields surrounding both the galactic centers as well as the galaxies themselves. These appear to be the forces that determine galaxy formation. Their presence has been documented and measured by all relevant NASA missions.
        But if your religious beliefs require the presence of dark matter then I guess these facts are too inconvenient to deserve consideration. Or perhaps a lack of fundamental knowledge in plasma physics and electrical engineering renders you incapable of an intelligent reply. Either way, your objections lack any meaningful thought process.

  2. dean.sueck@gmail.com says:

    lol. Hope this doesn’t sound too stupid. I’m a professional computer consultant not a cosmologist/astronomer, well an amateur one maybe.

    I remember reading a paper by Hawking — must be 10-15 years ago. He postulated that if a black hole – any type of black hole – were to be removed from all food sources, like maybe kicked out of its home galaxy and into the void, that it would begin to ever so slowly, over decades, and centuries release a particle of radiation here and there, that would escape the gravitational pull of the BH.

    In this process, ever so slowly the BH would shrink down and down and down until finally when it was a few atoms wide, it might pop out of this universe and create a new baby universe.

    Well I reasoned that if losing matter would make it shrink and gaining matter would make it grow such as is the normal case, then the matter HAS to be stored in the BH and doesn’t just disappear magically.

    I believe the matter is there and that a very long eventually, 50,000, 5,000,000, whatever, human technology would be advanced enough to recoup that matter.

    Just a thought that occurred to me long ago.

    PS: One last thought. It’s always bugged me that people keep talking about the “infinite” gravity of a black hole. It seems nonsensical to me that a black hole with 4 billion times the mass of the sun has the same amount of gravity as a black hole with 10 million times the mass of the sun. I think our technology is simply not advanced enough to measure these things accurately enough.

    I think when all’s said and done we’ll eventually find that the gravity of each BH differs with the size of the black hole.

    Sorry to post this but these things been buggin me for the LONGEST time and I have no other outlet to be able to spew them out. ­čÖé

    Thanks for listening.

    • BlackWolfStanding says:

      As I understand Black Holes: Gravity is very consistent at all event horizons of all Black Holes. So the effects of the gravity from Black Holes’ event horizons are the same. The only difference is the diameter of the event horizon. Let’s say you have your typical Black Hole passing our Solar System where the center of the Back Hole Is Just out side the Oort Cloud. You would see tremendous gravitational effects on the Oort Cloud, but that’s about it. Now replace the typical Black Hole with a Super Massive Black Hole with an Event Horizon that has the diameter of our Solar system. Ah, our planetary Solar System will cease to exist. Not because of the difference of Gravity, but because the Event horizon will be passing through the Solar System essentially “eating” everything in our Solar System.

      You see, once you collapse matter so tight it bends and eats light, that pretty much is the limits of Gravity. The only difference becomes where that limit extends to. Thus the different sizes of Event Horizons.

    • btraymd says:

      I liked your post. At least it reflects that there are some problems with our current model of “black holes”. IMO the problems far exceed the understanding. First and foremost I want know in precisely what a black hole is a hole. I assume it’s not a rabbit hole or a fox hole so it’s a hole in what???? The continued use of a term that is so nondescriptive and obscure IMO reflects a total lack of real understanding.
      Secondly, does anyone even care that the current standard model of “black holes” requires the breakdown and abandonment of the known laws of physics?? Singularity?? Accretion disc?? Infinite mass?? Infinite density?? Gravity that can prevent the escape of electromagnetic radiation??? These are the concepts that mathematics have thrust upon us. None of them makes sense and none have ever been observed.
      Why has this scenario developed? The answer is simple and needs to be addressed. Math was necessary to salvage the the theory that gravity was the driving force for galaxy formation. It’s truly amazing that that even all of the above imaginary concepts weren’t enough to salvage the gravity based theories and that “dark matter” had to be added in to provide adequate force. And upon further calculation even this wasn’t enough to make the theory work.
      The obsession with gravity as the only possible force responsible for galaxy and star formation has resulted in a cosmological “standard model” that defies the known laws of physics, that is being invalidated on a daily basis by the newest radio telescope data and that has absolutely no predictive value.
      It also makes no common sense. Just imagine gravity influencing a bolt of lightening. I can jump up and counteract the gravity exerted upon me by the entire planet earth. It is a weak force, specifically 10 to the 39th times weaker than electromagnetic forces. That approaches infinitely weaker!!
      The newest data however does reveal a likely structure the galactic centers inappropriately termed “black holes”. NASA missions have documented the following: They are surrounded by massively powerful magnetic fields. They emit plasma jets. They emanate massive amounts of EM radiation (gamma, xray and most recently as visible light). This leads to the probable conclusion that they are electromagnetic phenomenon. The magnetic fields alone suggest there is massive amounts of electric current in the form of the flow of charged particles within. A workable model is that they are super dense, rapidly rotating plasmoids. Compelling evidence for this model is the experimental evidence published by Anthony Peratt working at Los Alamos National Laboratories in applied plasma physics. He produced fully functional spiral galaxy models using only plasma, magnetic fields and electric current. Dark matter, black holes and dark energy were not required for these models to maintain the necessary velocity and structure that we observe today.
      If ever there was a need to apply Occam’s Razor this would seem to qualify.

  3. btraymd says:

    As I expected, there is a lot of emotional objection to my comments without substantive effort to address the facts as I have addressed them. My comments are made in a serious manner to provoke meaningful consideration of some very serious flaws in the standard model. Those that accept the current model as if it is set in stone hardly qualify to even reply. The lack of scientific principles that pervade the current standard model has reduced it to a religion, where only belief is necessary to support it. The essential scientific triad of observation, theory and experimental validation has been replaced by mathematical conjecture. Mathematics should be used to verify observations, not create a reality which is neither observed or experimentally validated.
    I eagerly await an intelligent response that can address the facts that I have presented. My opinions are based on these facts. I, for one, have an open mind and base my opinions on legitimate scientific data. To rudely dismiss my comments as spam without even addressing one fact I have presented shows limited cranial capacity at least and ignorance at worst.
    Without trying to sound contrite, the lack of substance in the replies makes me sympathize with the poor souls that died trying to convince their compatriots that the earth was a sphere and not flat after all. If I recall correctly, these independent thinkers were burned at the stake for heresy.

    • mewo says:

      Here’s the thing. We *have* addressed your bizarre ideas in previous posts, at great length, proving your nonsense ideas wrong with a multitude of references, facts, and mathematical arguments. But you just ignore that and copy and paste the same long-winded rambling wall of text on every post here to do with black holes, dark matter, or cosmology and then lie about nobody having a rebuttal. We’re just tired of talking to you when you don’t listen anyway. I’ve explained I think four times now that the jets and X-ray radiation from a black hole are actually emitted from the accretion disc around it but you repeatedly come back with “we know black holes aren’t black hur hur hur” like you haven’t been paying attention. “Open-minded”. Ha!

      When you claimed Rosetta’s comet was strongly electrically charged, I asked you to explain how an irregular rotating charged object somehow has no magnetic field. You had nothing.

      When you claimed the Sun was a purely electrical phenomenon, I asked you how it could then be producing neutrinos. No answer to that either.

      When you claimed the Bullet Cluster was a lot of teeny tiny scaled down galaxies in the Local Group, I asked you why we can’t resolve individual stars in it when we can do so for the other Local Group galaxies. You had no answer there either.

      When you claimed the Magnetospheric Multiscale Spacecraft was a panicked response to a crackpot speech given in 2009, I asked you how that could be since it was already on the drawing board by 2002. You had no answer, just a lot of sarcastic remarks.

      When you told us that redshift is a function of age, I asked you why spectral lines get redshifted as well and not just the continuum. Guess what, you did not have an answer.

      You’re constantly making false claims about the state of astronomy and scientists. You’ve claimed nobody has seen an accretion disc. Completely false. You can google pictures of them. You assert scientists have abandoned experiment and observations. WHY THE HELL do we keep building telescopes, particle accelerators, neutrino detectors, space probes? What are they for, if not experiment and observation? In other posts you essentially accuse prominent scientists of fraud, which is utterly contemptible. You are so absolutely full of it. The moderators are making a mistake in allowing you to use UT’s comment section as a platform to peddle your spam.

      You assert that cosmology is in a state of crisis and that only by abandoning everything except electricity can it be fixed. What utter rot. The current theoretical framework is not on the verge of collapse and, even if it were, your BATSHIT INSANE ideas are the LAST thing it should be replaced with. Scientists understand the interior of the Sun well enough to correctly predict the existence and configuration of sunspots on the other side; you can’t even explain how it produces neutrinos. Astronomers understand gravity well enough to correctly predict the appearance of a lensed supernova; your mob have never correctly predicted anything. Astronomy is not about to fall on its face. There are things that we don’t understand, yes, but we go out and try to understand them by collecting data, working out mathematical theories, and building better experiments. We don’t do what the Electric Universe crackpots do- you sit around doing no new science whatsoever, falsely claim to have predicted beforehand every surprising new observation, and make vague allusions to papers you haven’t read and aren’t bright enough to understand even if you had.

      I urge curious readers to use the search pane to look for other posts by btraymd and verify that, yes, in fact he IS spamming the same or similar crap over and over and that, yes, we HAVE addressed it at great length numerous times.

      • postman1 says:

        I disagree, as regards the moderator disallowing btraymd’s comments. Actually, I am enjoying reading your exchange as much as I did the article, especially this last comment, mewo. Thanks!

      • DrFlimmer says:

        Dear mewo,

        I didn’t comment on this site for quite a while now. I just wanted to tell you that you have all my sympathy and respect to take this up on you.
        A few years ago I did the same here (and on BadAstronomy) fighting a guy called Anaconda (by chance it could be the same guy as btraymd). He had the exact same behavior: copy and pasting the same old stuff under basically every single article. And when people started becoming upset with him he said “see, I’m right, because you just call me names”. But he never really reacted to our replies and rebuttals. He even claimed at one point that quarks would not exist, i.e. that they were “just theoretical”.
        At BadAstronomy these guys were eventually banned. And I would support such a move here, too. The freedom of speech does not give you the right to speak nonsense without listening.
        This forum should be for people discussing seriously the topic at hand, so that one has a learned and informative exchange for the benefit of all.

        Cheers,
        DrFlimmer

      • Forty says:

        Thanks for putting the nonsense in perspective.
        #teammewo

      • mewo says:

        Awwww, thanks guys. ­čÖé

  4. btraymd says:

    You have addressed nothing as you make peripheral points that can be contested and even if true pale in comparison to the overall picture.
    Your post is probably the best support for which I could hope. The points of disagreement you raise are weak at best and you offer no significant disagreement with the major points I raised in my comments (unless “batshit” and “insane” are legitimate scientific viewpoints)

  5. SurlyEnigma says:

    Back to the article for a second, what if the Black Holes were hiding matter in a different way? This has been an idea I have had for a long time now, just nowhere to discuss it, let alone anyone willing to hear me out. This doesn’t account for the weight of the radiation ( photon packets ? ) zipping around at all the various wavelengths, which may be negligible, or not.
    Maybe i should first set this up so you can see where I’m coming from with this.
    Regular stars are basically fully, nothing too special, atoms. Neutron stars and magnetars are made of atoms that have been squeezed to where there is no space between the atomic particles, a giant nucleus with no shell of electrons as they were blown off in the massive crush that made the star. I hope i am correct so far.
    Now here is my idea. Protons, neutrons and electrons are also shells, not sure if they have a nucleus. What if you crush that down until there is no space between the pieces that make it? Would that be a black hole? If so it should be called a quark star in my opinion. Given the large amount of room in an atom, compared to the size of the pieces, the neutron star would be extremely dense. How much room is in an atomic particle, between its pieces? This is where my thoughts always hit the wall i cant seem to get past, because the answer is largely unknown. However, this would make the weight of a quark star not exact, but approximate. Could the margin of error in the weight of these hefty celestial bodies account for that missing matter? I never understood how the weight of something on that scale could be exact enough to say there was some missing in the first place.
    There is always the question of how much cold matter ( nonradiating due to it’s temperature ) out there in the voids.
    Hmmm, could there be heaver objects at the junctions of the cosmic filaments where there is a greater congregation of matter? Suppose quarks and things on that size scale are shells that can be squeezed down to something smaller and heaver.
    Thank you for this opportunity to put my ideas out there.
    I feel much better now.

    • It’s a “hole” in space-time, aka. a place where the normal laws of physics break down and even light can’t escape. It is not a literal hole. And the reason that the normal laws of physics break down is because the gravity effectively exceeds the speed of light. If you do not understand the basics, how is it you can say it doesn’t make sense?

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