A giant wormhole could be sitting somewhere within our Milky Way galaxy – a cosmic doorway waiting to take us to distant places in the Universe.
Just like in the recent Hollywood sci-fi movie ‘Interstellar’, a stable and navigable galactic transport system may actually exist, according to a new research paper published this week in Annals of Physics.
Wormholes are basically two black holes that are separated by vast cosmic distances but are connected together via a special bridge that crosses both space and time. These bizarre tunnels would basically bend space-time such that two places far apart are much closer together. This could allow travellers to zip across immense distances – from hundreds to millions of light years in space – in very short periods of time.
We can take the analogy of this exotic concept down to Earth and think of it in terms of an apple and an ant. The ant can travel from one side of the apple to the other, the more traditional way, by walking along the outside surface of the apple. It takes a while, but the ant gets from point A to point B eventually. Or it can still stay within all the laws of physics, but take a shortcut through a wormhole that bores straight through the body of the fruit.
Of course, while these new findings still remain in the realm of theory and mathematics, the team of astrophysicists from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, believe they may have come across evidence that strengthens the case that just such a portal may exist at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.
And the key may lie with our misunderstanding of another bizarre astronomical phenomenon, called dark matter, and that it may in fact have a direct connection to wormholes.
Dark matter is a hypothetical, strange form of matter that does not produce any light or radiation and appears to dominate the universe.
“If we combine the map of the dark matter in the Milky Way with the most recent Big Bang model to explain the universe and we hypothesize the existence of space-time tunnels, what we get is that our galaxy could really contain one of these tunnels, and that the tunnel could even be the size of the galaxy itself,” explained co-author Paolo Salucci, astrophysicist and a dark matter expert.
“But there’s more. We could even travel through this tunnel, since, based on our calculations, it could be navigable. Just like the one we’ve all seen in the recent film ‘Interstellar’”
Unfortunately, there is a serious mismatch between what our computer and theoretical models are telling us about dark matter and what our astrophysical observations of the cosmos are showing us.
“The situation is so serious that even not-standard theories like our giant wormhole at the centre of the galaxy fare much better in explaining data than such hypothetical dark particles,” Salucci said.
Current theories suggest that dark matter produces its own strong, dark gravitational field that may be found in our galaxy, produced by a countless number of dark particles. And the dark matter region in the core of our galaxy is estimated to be about 10,000 light years across.
“This, however, has never been discovered yet in any of our accelerators or by underground detectors,” Salucci said.
“This has led us to consider changing our ideas, and so we realized that what we call dark matter effect could instead be a wormhole in disguise!”
Hard to imagine, but the 10,000 light-year wide region at the core of our galaxy could well harbour the throat of a wormhole, according to this study.
Salucci and his team go on to speculate that dark matter may in fact be constantly fuelling wormholes within spiral galaxies throughout the Universe.
The next step is to observe and compare different types of nearby galaxies and look for evidence of distortions of space-time.
The dark matter phenomenon in galaxies is so elusive and strange that it could very well be polluted by some surprising effect, like an artificial galactic transport system.
“In my opinion, our speculation is more likely than postulating other even more exotic theories like the existence of dark supersymmetric matter particles, changes in the gravitational universal law or even anti-gravity,” Salucci said.