Do Not Book Your Trip Through Our Huge Galactic Wormhole Yet!
Astrophysicists claim that our galaxy may contain a gargantuan, stable, and navigable wormhole near its center that could be used to travel from galaxy to galaxy.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “A galactic transport system? that has to be baloney”. I thought the same thing before I did research on this news-item. Now that I familiar with the details of this theory, I have to say that now……I still think it’s baloney.
So where did they get this crazy-ass idea and is it worth devoting any brain cells to it?
Astrophysicists from the U.S, India, and the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy came up with this after combining Theories on Dark matter, General Relativity, and the assumption that wormholes (Einstein-Rosen Bridges) exist in our universe. Once combined mathematically, Astrophysicist Salucci describes their results like this:
“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, 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”‘.
As big as the galaxy and traversable? That’s quite a claim. More than anything else, their idea relies on dark matter facilitating the creation of the wormhole in terms of its density and specific distribution throughout the galaxy:
“in the galactic halo region, dark matter may supply the fuel for constructing and sustaining a wormhole. Hence, wormholes could be found in nature and our study may encourage scientists to seek observational evidence for wormholes in the galactic halo region.”
This is quite different from any type of wormhole I’ve ever read about. The general idea for the existence of such space-time shortcuts is not without some scientific support though. Einstein’s General Relativity does indeed have valid solutions that include wormholes so it does certainly seem at least possible for them to exist.
Even though their existence could be a fact, scientists can’t seem to agree yet exactly what characteristics we should expect them to have.
- They may be unimaginably small, on the other hand, they could become macroscopic given the universe’s expansion and enough time.
- They may be big enough for us to send signals or objects through, on the other hand, they might spontaneously collapse before the journey is complete.
- They may be held open indefinitely by exotic/negative matter, on the other hand, the presence of normal matter nearby may slam the wormhole shut.
- They may be useful for time-travel, on the other hand, Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture could doom such a possibility.
This latest take on wormholes claims that not only may wormholes be large and stable, they may be large enough to be comparable to the size of the Milky way itself. As big as they may be, it seems that they would still be primarily centered towards the center of spiral galaxies with the mouth away from the galaxy proper, situated in its halo.
In addition and most crucially, the scientists claim that it is held open not by exotic matter but by dark matter itself.
As outlandish as these claims seem, Salucci did reel it back in a little by saying the following:
“we’re not claiming that our galaxy is definitely a wormhole, but simply that, according to theoretical models, this hypothesis is a possibility.”
I still think this is just way too much pie-in-the-sky theorizing. There’s exactly zero observational evidence, which is fine at this stage of inquiry but I can’t help feeling that something this big would have betrayed its presence by now. They do at least offer some potential ways to test their theory including looking for gravitational lensing or closely vetting other galaxies for hints of a wormhole. Unfortunately they claim that we’re not at the point where we can do this.
Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss agrees that we shouldn’t get our hopes up about this.
“My understanding of wormholes is that we have no idea how to make them stable and traversable without exotic unknown forms of energy…so any discussion of traversable wormholes as realistic travel devices is highly speculative at best.”
As awesome as it would be to discover that these Galactic Transport Systems are real, it would still be very disappointing on a fundamental level.
Would you spend countless millennia traveling tens of thousands of light years just to get to this damn thing?
Image Credits: SISSA, NASA