free debate

March 24, 2010

Black Holes Don't Suck in Everything

Wow, it's been a while since I have written a post. Sorry for the long pause. Life is crazy right now and shows little signs of slowing down in the next two months. So for now, let's dive in with a really cool story involving some weird objects.

Black holes and dark matter are two of the least understood things in the universe. Black holes have enormous amounts of gravity focused into a very small space, creating a area where nothing can escape. Dark matter is a mysterious substance that interacts only through gravity. A recent study by scientists at National Autonomous University of Mexico these two things interact in an interesting way.

They started out by seeing what would happen if dark matter was constantly falling into super massive black holes in the center of galaxies. They used models to find that this would quickly make the black holes so massive they would distort the entire galaxy. “Over the billions of years since galaxies formed, such runaway absorption of dark matter in black holes would have altered the population of galaxies away from what we actually observe,” said Dr. Xavier Hernandez, one of the lead authors on the paper. This is really cool because it is going to once again force us to change how we think about dark matter. There must only be a limited about of dark matter in the center of galaxies, or there is another answer that we have not yet
thought of.

I love these stories because they show how scientists are constantly changing to new information. Science is far from stagnant, and each new paper gives us more insight into the universe. If something doesn't make sense, scientists investigate it. If two things don't make sense, they try to study them together.

More at: Universe Today