M82, VIRGOHI 21 and Young Galaxies
One test of Curvity is that there should exist galaxies which, being new, seem to have a lot of "Dark Matter", i.e. diffuse bits of hydrogen or other particles with a faster rotation about a center then Newtonian gravity can explain and very little if no stars. Evidence of such galaxies exists in one called Virgohi 21 [naic.edu]. One unique feature of VIRGOHI 21 is that it doesn't seem to have any stars in it, but it does have a cloud of hydrogen that is rotating much too quickly about a center.
The new, relatively high-resolution WSRT measurements suggest that VIRGOHI21 is indeed a single object, ruling out previous suggestions that its rotation was an illusion caused by two passing gas clouds.
But they do confirm a mystery raised by previous studies. The object's normal matter weighs a few hundred million times the mass of the Sun. But its dark matter – inferred by studying the rotation speed of the cloud – appears to weigh at least 100 times as much.
That ratio is much higher than expected – in all other galaxies, dark matter outweighs normal matter by a factor of only 10. "Even if this is a dark galaxy, it is not what you expect to find. The number of baryons is too low," says Michael Merrifield of the University of Nottingham in the UK, who was not on Minchin's team.
Yet another prediction by Curvity is that there should exist galaxies which have a "black hole", i.e. a "null balance" that isn't at the center of the galaxy. Because the "null balance" point created by the surrounding galaxies doesn't line up with gravitation attraction of the particles that form the galaxy, the "black hole" created can exist outside the center of a galaxy. Again, evidence of such off-center "black hole" exists at the center of M82:
Recently, Chandra may have discovered an important link between stellar-mass black holes and the supermassive type: a 500 solar mass black hole in the nearby irregular galaxy M82. But it is puzzling, too, because the black hole is not centered in M82's nucleus.
and from BBC news:
"No-one was sure that such black holes existed, especially outside the centres of galaxies," said Professor Martin Ward, of Leicester University, UK, one of the scientists to report the discovery.
"Finding it is like finding the missing bit of a puzzle."
The new type of black hole was located about 600 light years from the centre of the M82 galaxy using Nasa's Chandra X-ray observatory. It is part of a binary system in which the hole and a very much smaller object move around each other.
Another interesting point is that black holes seem to exist everywhere in a variety of sizes, which could possibly be explained by the differences in surrounding galaxies.
Galaxy formation also seems to have kept going much later than expected. Galex located three dozen youthful galaxies about 2 billion to 4 billion light-years from Earth. The galaxies appear to have started forming less than 1 billion years ago, much more recently than the Milky Way, which is at least 10 billion years old. "It looks a lot like what you would expect galaxies in the early universe to be like, but we're seeing it in these nearby objects," says Galex principle investigator Chris Martin of Caltech.
I went googling for more information and was surprised to learn that Astronomers had thought the birth of new galaxies was a thing of the past.
Astronomers believe the Universe unfolded after the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago. As the expanding Universe cooled, it absorbed hydrogen and helium. These elements collapsed under gravity to create the first stars and galaxies. When the Universe was young, massive galaxies were regularly bursting into existence. But this activity was thought to have peaked eight to 10 billion years ago. Over time, fewer and fewer galactic progeny were born and the early generation galaxies matured into ones that look like our own. Until now, astronomers thought they had seen the last of the giant babies.
What the astronomer's expectations mean is that in a universe ruled by Relativity and only positive gravity, the formation of young galaxies should have dried up shortly after the Big Bang. What is exciting is that Curvity expects galaxies to be forming continuously, just like the Virgo H21 is evidence of. The reason is because, as galaxies continue to push each other farther away, the negative gravity between galaxies will continuously push random particles, spit out of old galaxies, into forming new galaxies.
The evidence for "black holes" could actually be the "null balance" of surrounding galaxies which can explain quite a few things, for example, the wide ranging masses of "black holes", why some "black holes" are not at the center of galaxies and why stars seem to have such extreme orbits so close to the hole. It is also possible for vast hydrogen clouds, which seem to be spinning more rapidly then they should, could actually be the newly formed galaxies as predicted by Curvity.
What is perhaps interesting about all these insights is that they rely heavily on surrounding environments, which should be a clear and easy test. It is a test that is easily passed because Galaxies are affected by their local environments as explained:
Morphological types show striking differences between various environments. If we tabulate the percentages of various galaxy types in rich and poor clusters and in the "field", a clear distinction emerges:
Type: cD E+S0 S+I Rich clusters 93 56 38 Poor clusters 6 20 14 Field clusters < 6 < 24 48
Of course, all of these insights are for now, just hand waving, but that such structures exist as Virgo H21 and a host of young galaxies, is very encouraging.
- "Atoms, Galaxies and Understanding", Daniel W. Fry, 1960, Understanding Publishing Co., pg 95 - 97
- "'Dark Galaxy' continues to puzzle astronomers", NewScientist.com, Stuart Clark, June 2007
- "A Galactic Center of Mystery", Nasa, February 2002
- "Middleweight black hole discovered", BBC news, September 2000
- "Black Hole Boldly Goes Where No Black Hole Has Gone Before", ESA Chandra Press Release, January 2007, Tom Maccarone.
- "New and Old Galaxies Show Up in All the Wrong Places", Discover, Alex Hutchinson, January 2006"
- "New Galaxies Teem with Baby Stars", BBC News, December 2005
- "Environment Effects on Galaxies", Bill Keel, University of Alabama