Antimatter Galaxies –“Could Create the Most Destructive Event Since the Big Bang”


NGC 4258, also known as M106


“Just because we happen to live in a region that is overwhelmingly dominated by matter doesn’t preclude the existence of other regions of space that are instead dominated by antimatter,” observes Dan Hooper, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

The Standard Model fails to explain the enduring mystery of why the observable universe contain virtually no antimatter. Physicists believe that at the Big Bang there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the early history of the universe – so how did the antimatter vanish? Perhaps it didn’t and resides isolated in some far distant regions of our universe.

If such exotic regions do exist with large quantities of antiprotons, antineutrons, and positrons without the presence of any protons, neutrons, or electrons to annihilate with, it would behave just as ordinary baryonic matter does, forming antimatter versions of all of the known types of atoms and molecules, which would undergo the full array of physical and chemical reactions and processes that take place among ordinary matter, creating stars, planets, and galaxies—and could even contain life. “And the light generated from an antimatter star or an antimatter galaxy,” explains Hooper in At the Edge of Time, “would be entirely indistinguishable from that produced by any ordinary star or galaxy.”

“Mystery Moment in Time” –The Observable Universe’s Missing Antimatter

As LIGO has shown us with its recent detection of merging neutron stars and supermassive black holes, astrophysical systems pass matter back and forth constantly, with many galaxies in our universe colliding or merging with one another. Even the Milky Way is expected to collide in four billion years in a colossal mashup with its nearest neighbor, the massive Andromeda galaxy, which could eventually eject our solar system into deep space.

“The Amazing Higgs”–Portal to the Dark World to Ridding the Universe of Antimatter

If a galaxy made up of matter were to collide with an antimatter galaxy, it would generate the most dramatic and destructive event since the Big Bang. Such events, concludes Hooper, “if they ever take place, must be incredibly rare and in a distant region of the universe.”

Curated and edited by Val Landi, The Daily Galaxy, founder/editor

The Daily Galaxy via Dan Hooper, At the Edge of Time (pp. 90-91). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition and Theorists suggest ‘Higgs Troika’ may have been responsible for disappearance of antimatter

Image credit: NGC 4258, also known as M106, a spiral galaxy made of ordinary matter, like the Milky Way. NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA