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Most of the universe may be trapped inside of ancient black holes

By Dave Mosher - In case you haven't heard, there is a very, very big problem with the universe: About 80% of all of the stuff inside it is missing. Astronomers call this material "dark matter." They know it's out there because its huge mass tugs on and shapes galaxies, but no one has ever detected the material itself. Aside from exerting a gravitational pull, dark matter doesn't seem to interact with stars, planets, dust, atoms, subatomic particles, or any other "normal" matter as we know it. It's essentially invisible. Yet this deep cosmic mystery, which has perplexed scientists for nearly 85 years, may soon be coming to a close — possibly within the next year. A group of researchers led by NASA cosmologist Alexander Kashlinsky thinks the recent and groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves could help rule out the idea that dark matter is made of exotic, hard-to-detect particles. Their suspicion: Massive black holes, like the two whose collision caused the gravitational waves, are far more common than suspected and might have formed in the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang. That could mean the dark matter that makes up most of our universe is not exotic particles at all. It might simply be black holes. If Kashlinksy and his colleagues are correct, the reality may be that four-fifths of matter was gobbled up by black holes at the dawn of the universe, millions of years before the first star was born. And there's another uncomfortable facet of this hypothetical reality: A countless number of ancient, greedy cosmic drains are lurking in the blackness of space around us, pulling on "normal" matter like faceless puppeteers.

Origins of a dark mystery

coma cluster galaxies abell 1689 chandra xray

MACHOS vs. WIMPs

black hole
gravitational lens galaxy labelled esa hubble nasa
cdms dark matter fermilab reidar hahn

Colliding black holes and microlenses

binary black hole collision ligo sxs
cosmic infrared background radiation dark matter kashlinksy nasa caltech

Proving the case

euclid space telescope dark matter energy esa carreau

NOW WATCH: Astronomers have observed something never seen before around the monster black hole at the center of our galaxy -Hymer

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