Scientists found a tight correlation between the mass of the black holes located at the center of galaxies and the mass of the invisible dark matter surrounding and sustaining the galaxies. According to the new findings, the more dark matter a galaxy can hold, the larger the size of its central black hole is.
The concept of dark matter was first introduced and generally embraced in the early 1980s as scientists were struggling for decades to understand why in some remote locations of space gravitation behaved entirely different than they knew.
After countless of studies, astronomers reached the conclusion that an invisible matter which could be tracked only by measuring its gravitational effects on the nearby space objects filled most of the empty space in our Universe.
However, other researchers believe that the dark matter theory is flawed since gravity acts at a larger scale within a remote galaxy than the one we are accustomed with in our solar system. Still, dark matter supporters say that there is an ever increasing body of evidence that supports the reality of the mysterious matter.
But dark matter researchers found that even galaxies are surrounded by a halo of dark matter that is invisible to our telescopes because it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation. Scientists speculate that the halo is so great that it outweighs the total mass of all stars located within the galaxy it surrounds.
According to previous research, every super-sized galaxy hosts a central black hole, which has a size directly proportional to the galaxy’s mass. So, scientists were puzzled by this apparent link between the tiny black hole and its ultra-sized host since a galaxy may be millions of times larger than its central black hole.
The recent study found a possible solution to this matter. Researchers found that the direct link is not established between the black hole and its home galaxy. Instead the black hole’s growth is conditioned by the halo of the dark matter surrounding the galaxy.
“There seems to be a mysterious link between the amount of dark matter a galaxy holds and the size of its central black hole, even though the two operate on vastly different scales,”
reported Akos Bogdan, lead author of the study and researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
For their study, scientists analyzed more than 3,000 elliptical galaxies, or football-shaped galaxies to learn that the size of the central massive black hole was not linked to the total mass of stars in its host galaxy, but to the galaxy’s dark-matter halo.
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