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Space Science

Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise 293

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fifth-dimensional-hyper-worm dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "There is growing evidence that the center of the Milky Way contains a mysterious object some 4 million times more massive than the Sun. Many astronomers believe that this object, called Sagittarius A*, is a supermassive black hole that was crucial in the galaxy's birth and formation. The thinking is that about 100 million years after the Big Bang, this supermassive object attracted the gas and dust that eventually became the Milky Way. But there is a problem with this theory--100 million years is not long enough for a black hole to grow so big. The alternative explanation is that Sagittarius A* is a wormhole that connects the Milky Way to another region of the universe or even a another multiverse. Cosmologists have long known that wormholes could have formed in the instants after the Big Bang and that these objects would have been preserved during inflation to appear today as supermassive objects hidden behind an event horizon, like black holes. It's easy to imagine that it would be impossible to tell these objects apart. But astronomers have now worked out that wormholes are smaller than black holes and so bend light from an object orbiting close to them, such as a plasma cloud, in a unique way that reveals their presence. They've even simulated what such a wormhole will look like. No telescope is yet capable of resolving images like these but that is set to change too. An infrared instrument called GRAVITY is currently being prepared for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Chile and should be in a position to spot the signature of a wormhole, if it is there, in the next few years."
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Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

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  • Why it matters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @12:57PM (#47000435) Homepage
    Given the intense environment around Sag A*, even if it turns out to be a wormhole it will be utterly non-traversable. However, there are hypotheses that wormholes to be stabilized require using negative matter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_mass [wikipedia.org]. At least, that's the most plausible mechanism suggested- so this would be inadvertent evidence that negative matter exists, which would be a really big deal. There's also speculation that a cosmic string could do something similar- note that a cosmic string is topological defect in space time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_string [wikipedia.org]- these are not the strings from string theory although many forms of string theory would predict that such objects would exist. And of course, if wormholes exist in nature there's some small chance we can either make our own o find much smaller ones and put them to use. Unfortunately, there's a lot of dust and other debris between where we are and Sag A*, so even GRAVITY may have trouble getting enough resolution to figure this out.
  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @01:10PM (#47000597) Journal

    But it's testable fantasized bullshit-- which means that it's scientifically interesting.

  • Re:Why it matters (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ByteSlicer (735276) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @01:19PM (#47000723)

    However, there are hypotheses that wormholes to be stabilized require using negative matter

    If Sag A* is a wormhole, and required stabilizing, then it would have destabilized long long time ago, since it has been constantly gobbling up regular matter (albeit infrequently lately).

    I doubt anything could pass through a wormhole, since that would probably break causality or the laws of thermodynamics. Also, we should have detected stuff coming out of the other side (maybe not of this one, but there should be "exits" all over the universe).

    If wormholes exist, my guess is they will be more like a pair of entangled black holes. They would look like normal black holes, until you did a careful statistical analysis of Hawking radiation of both.

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhuCknuT (1703) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @01:48PM (#47000989) Homepage

    "The thinking is that about 100 million years after the Big Bang, this supermassive object attracted the gas and dust that eventually became the Milky Way. But there is a problem with this theory--100 million years is not long enough for a black hole to grow so big. The alternative explanation is that Sagittarius A* is a wormhole..."

    No, the widely accepted alternative (aka, the actual mainstream consensus) is that the supermassive black hole and the galaxy grew together, not that the black hole came first and was supermassive before the galaxy existed. This wormhole theory is an answer to a question no one is asking.

  • Re:Why it matters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pausanias (681077) <(pausaniasx) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @01:56PM (#47001051)

    In general relativity, wormholes *do* require negative mass (or energy density), for sure. Outside the context of the Casimir effect [wikipedia.org], negative mass in wormholes and warp drives can yield causality violations [wikipedia.org]. Causality is the last thing you'll pry from a physicist's cold, dead hands. Therefore, while it may be fun to speculate about such things, they lie squarely within the realm of science fiction for now.

    To post on a news site that the galactic black hole "may be a wormhole" is like posting a headline saying that extraterrestrial aliens "may currently be among us." Both ideas are exciting. Both ideas are remotely within the realm of possibility. And both are so unlikely that they would readily be dismissed by all except those who are credulous or who like to drum up sensationalism for its own sake.

    It's sensationalism for nerds.

  • Re:Why it matters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @03:52PM (#47002459)

    One possible solution is that our wormholes (if they exist) are actually "pre big bang events" for a whole new universe inside the wormhole, and that they actually contain an infinite volume. "White hole" stage happens at the big bang inside, and any subsequent mass energy that falls in from our side just becomes dark energy on their side, distributed everywhere.

    It would be interesting to try to plot out how causality works over the bridge.

    the way I envision it though (which is almost certainly wrong), is that time is more confined (slower) near the bridge, but becomes less confined (faster) as the space on the other side expands in volume. (Speed is measured as 'planc seconds against unit of spacetime traversed by photon in vacuum' EG, near the bridge, photons appear to travel more slowly, where away from the bridge, they appear to travel more quickly. The actual energy of the photon has not changed, but the ratio between space and time has changed. There is more 'time' near the bridge than there is space, and vise versa further away.)
    Any particular "moment" can be seen as a topological point on the 'surface' of the wormhole.

    (See for instance this image of the standard inflation model of our universe.)

    http://scitechdaily.com/images... [scitechdaily.com]

    If you cross your eyes when you look at it, the model resembles a white hole, where the "hole" is the big bang, the energy was delivered "all at once", and what we percieve as time is just a manifestation of the energy delivered. (it would explain why time runs only in one direciton, and a number of other interesting things. it could theoretically explain dark energy, etc.)

    Another interesting tidbit: Supermassive objects like sagitarius A have a hard time "feeding". This may account for the inflationary curvature of our own universe if you, again, cross your eyes when you look at it.

    EG, early in the universe, mass energy from the higher up one was spilling into ours. (their "hole" was feeding), but as it grew in intensity, the curvature on their end made such feeding more difficult, and the rate of influx slowed sharply-- ending the rapid expansion period.

    If that's the case, then some corollary math should add up against observational metrics against black hole feeding on our side, and may give some interesting insights.

    http://phys.org/news140370694.... [phys.org]

    Can any of the more physics-head types see if there is a correlation between the estimated energy of the universe at the end of the hyper-expansionary epoch, and the event horizon size of these super massive black holes that can no longer feed?

  • Re:Why it matters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Immerman (2627577) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:05PM (#47002625)

    Well, radiation is easy to deal with - nothing approaching at high speed behind a few miles of lead shielding won't solve. Gravitational gradients though... those could present a real problem.

    I agree my pseudo-mass is wildly speculative, but a wormhole mouth that size would have a very similar effect - once you get past the mouth the gravitational gradient (potentially) disappears. And taking Neptune's orbital parameters as a reference (gravitational acceleration by the sun = 0.0000065 m/s^2), then if the central effective mass were 4,000,000x greater that would still be only 26.2 m/s^2, or about 2.6Gs, and the tidal forces even over a kilometer would be about 4 parts in ten billion. Even if the mouth were only the size of the sun so that we're talking an acceleration of 27million Gs, the tidal differences over a distance of 10 meters (plenty large for a small craft) would be only about 4Gs - well within the realm of mechanical engineering. And assuming passengers were curled up within little 1 meter balls they would be subjected to only one-tenth that - less than they'd experience in psuedo-tidal forces if splayed out on a children's merry-go-round.

    0.0000065 m/s^2 * 4,000,000 * rNep^2 / rSun^2 = 274MGs
    274MGs * (1 - rSun^2 / [rSun+10m])^2 = 3.9G
    274MGs * (1 - rSun^2 / [rSun+1m])^2 = 0.39G

    Of course that does assume that the source of the radiation is something other than atoms being ripped apart by tidal forces.

  • Re:It is God. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dave Johnson (3600641) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:38PM (#47003747)
    What if powerful free-est of markets capitalism provably left, for every one person with a successful Einstein level of intellect, five equivalently smart who had to put aside their insights and education to focus on simply staying alive? How many years of progress would that waste?
  • Re:Why it matters (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @08:14PM (#47005083)

    (Speed is measured as 'planc seconds against unit of spacetime traversed by photon in vacuum' EG, near the bridge, photons appear to travel more slowly, where away from the bridge, they appear to travel more quickly. The actual energy of the photon has not changed, but the ratio between space and time has changed. There is more 'time' near the bridge than there is space, and vise versa further away.)

    In GR, the photon would not change speed, but would change energy and wavelength due to any observed time dilation effects.

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