Dark matter is a substance of mystery! Scientists suspect it is there, and they can mathematically link it to other phenomenon in the universe — but they just can’t see it or replicate it. Dark matter should not be confused with antimatter. Dark matter neither reflects nor emits light, making it invisible to telescopes.
Based on solar body movements and lack of light in certain areas of the universe, experts believe dark matter makes up as much as 83 percent of the total volume of matter in the universe. All in all, dark matter can only be classified as a currently unidentified subatomic particle.
Proof of it has been elusive. The first hope of discovery, however, may be at hand with the results of a theory from Christoph Weniger of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich. Using imagery gathered from NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope, Weniger claims the bubble of gamma radiation around the black hole at the center of our universe is indicative of black hole jets interacting with dark matter.
The Fermi Space Telescope generates images of the galaxy based on gamma radiation. Weeding through the images, and eliminating certain distortions, allowed scientists to discover two large bubbles that appear to extend from opposite sides of our universe’s plane. (Think of a horizontal line—the universe—cutting through a giant figure-eight.) The bubbles appear relatively young, and are normally obscured by a cloud of gamma radiation interacting with dust and light particles.
Wengier believes those bubbles occur when the black hole emits energy bursts of radiation which then collide with a cloud of dark matter.
The theory is still just a theory, and even Wengier believes much more study is needed to verify his idea. If it is proven, the specific light and “bubble effect” could be used to determine where dark matter exists—at least in relationship to a black hole.
Unfortunately, the researchers involved with the study are dealing with two very debatable, little-known about space anomalies: dark matter and black holes. Not only can we not see dark matter, we can’t see black holes, either. The existence of both is solely determined by the actions of visible masses around them. Studies involving either black holes or dark matter are speculative at best.
Studying black holes is currently impossible. Were a probe able to get close enough to send back information to Earth, it would be sucked into the center of the vortex and…no one knows what happens in the center of a black hole, but it wouldn’t send back any information at that point. Scientists have seen black holes devour entire planets. The particles enter and are never seen again.
Dark matter is a more manageable study item, as far as un-researchable items go. It can’t be seen, touched, or created, but it has yet to prove a risk should modern technology ever find a way to get close enough to it.