“We do not know what dark matter is, but if it has anything to do with any scalar particles, it may be older than the Big Bang,” says astrophysicist Tommi Tenkanen at the Johns Hopkins University, who was not part of a 2019 University of Tokyo study that proposed the axion as a candidate for dark matter. The only fundamental scalar quantum field that has been observed in nature is the Higgs field-a field of energy that is thought to exist in every region of the universe.
“This newly discovered black hole could be an ancient relic—a primordial black hole—created in the early Universe before the first stars and galaxies formed,” said Eric Thrane from the Monash University School of Physics and Astronomy and Chief Investigator for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). The discovery of a ‘Goldilocks’ black hole is part of a missing link between two populations of black holes. “These early black holes may be the seeds of the supermassive black holes that live in the hearts of galaxies today.”
Something is messing with our universe, and that something is the enduring mystery astronomers have dubbed dark energy –which comprises about two-thirds of the mass and energy in the universe.
“It is undeniable that we are profoundly puzzled, especially when it comes to the first fraction of a second that followed the Big Bang,” wrote theoretical physicist Dan Hooper, author of The Edge of Time in an email to The Daily Galaxy–Great Discoveries Channel. “I have no doubt that these earliest moments hold incredible secrets, but our universe holds its secrets closely. It is up to us to coax those secrets from its grip, transforming them from mystery into discovery.”
“Ancient black holes would give us access to physics we would never otherwise be able to do,” wrote Dan Hooper, head of the theoretical astrophysics group at Fermilab, in an email to The Daily Galaxy. If primordial black holes are real, they’d have potential to solve a whole host of the biggest problems in cosmology, not the least being the mystery of dark matter, considered to be the backbone to the structure of the universe.
Maxwell Moe, astrophysicist, NASA Einstein Fellow, University of Arizona. Max can be found two nights a week probing the mysteries of the Universe at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
A gas filament with a length of 50 million light years –unfathomably large thread-like structures of hot gas that surround and connect galaxies and galaxy clusters–has been observed by astronomers at the University of Bonn for the first time Its structure is uncannily similar to the predictions of recent computer simulations.