Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole –“Is an Illusion” (‘A 2018 Most Viewed’)




“There has never been direct evidence of a black hole,” said physicist George Chapline, while acknowledging there are objects that general relativity would predict are black holes at the centers of galaxies. “Ironically, Einstein also didn’t believe in black holes even though he created general relativity.”

Compared to the supermassive black holes in the centers of other galaxies, our black hole, Sagittarius A*, is strangely quiet. But Chapline thinks it’s more than quiet: he predicts that we’ll soon find that it does not exist.

This December, at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, Chapline, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, expects to have his prediction that black holes don’t exist confirmed with the release of findings by the Event Horizon Telescope—really a virtual telescope with an effective diameter of the Earth—that has been pointing at the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole for the last several years.

Most of the astrophysics community, reports Jesse Stone at, expect that images of Sagittarius A* taken from telescopes all over the Earth, will show the telltale signs of a black hole: a bright swirl of light, produced by a disc of gases trapped in the black hole’s orbit, surrounding a black shadow at the center—the event horizon. This encloses the region of space where the black-hole singularity’s gravitational pull is too strong for light to escape.

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But Chapline doesn’t expect to see a black hole. He doesn’t believe they’re real. In 2005, he told Nature that “it’s a near certainty that black holes don’t exist” and—building on previous work he’d done with physics Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin—introduced an alternative model that he dubbed “dark energy stars.”

In the 1979 movie “The Black Hole,” the crew of the Palamino spaceship passes through a black hole and enters a world of confusion where space and time are warped. But in reality, if the crew approached the surface of a compact object, which Einstein’s theory of general relativity would identify as a black hole, they would all disintegrate, according to Chapline.

Chapline says that ordinary matter would break apart because the protons and neutrons in the matter would disintegrate. Further, Chapline says black holes do not really exist. Instead, he proposes that the mass of compact astrophysical objects consists of the same dark energy that makes up 60 percent of the mass of the universe.

This image from the ESO’s ALMA Observatory below shows the area surrounding Sagittarius A* — highlighted with a small circle. New research has revealed exciting evidence of interstellar gas and dust orbiting the black hole at high speeds.

Image credit top of page: YouTube

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Milky Way's Central Black Hole

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