A team of astronomers has, for the first time, “weighed” dark matter haloes surrounding actively feeding supermassive black holes in the bright hearts of ancient galaxies.
These black hole-powered hearts, or quasars, are often brighter than the combined light of every star in the galaxies around them. These super luminous central regions are “fired up” when supermassive black holes, which can have masses billions of times that of the sun, start greedily feeding on surrounding matter.
Personally, I’ve always been a dark matter skeptic. There’s so much indirect evidence for its existence, but I’ve never seen anything presented that has 100% convinced me it exists. I view it much like scientists used to believe in the aether. I wonder if one day we’ll learn that our calculations were simply wrong and that we didn’t need to fill the universe with invisible “dark matter” to make it work.
And according to a new study, scientists suggest dark matter haloes around such active galaxies could help funnel matter toward the central black hole, acting as a cosmic delivery service helping feed the titans.
Still, it’s an interesting finding, for sure! Imagine the power flowing through these galaxies pushing that matter into their central supermassive black holes! With our ever-growing observation power, it’s only a matter (no pun intended) of time before we’ll be seeing up-close and personal images of these devouring beasts!