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A RUDN University physicist has developed a formula for evaluation of the effect of dark matter on the size of the shadow of a black hole. It turned out that the effect would be noticeable only if the concentration of this hypothetical form of matter around black holes in the centers of galaxies is abnormally high. If it is not the case, then it is unlikely that dark matter could be detected using the shadow of a black hole. The work was published in the journal Physics Letters B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High Energy Physics.
In April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope received the first-ever image of the shadow of a supermassive black hole located in the center of the M87 galaxy. To get this shot, astronomers had to combine eight observatories located around the globe. The image does not have sufficient resolution to clearly define the geometry of the central black hole, but researchers hope to achieve higher quality in the future. Determining the shape of its shadow will allow astronomers to test various versions of the theory of gravity and, possibly, find a "bridge" that would combine quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity.
Roman - Konoplya - Associate - Professor - Educational
Roman Konoplya, an associate professor of the Educational and Scientific Institute of Gravity and Cosmology of the RUDN University, wondered if hypothetical dark matter, which accounts for about 85 percent of all matter in the universe, can have a visible effect on the shape and radius of the shadow of a black hole—a dark spot that appears due to the curvature of the trajectories of photons in the super-powerful gravitational field of such an object. The cosmologist obtained a formula that makes it possible to determine the change in the radius of the shadow depending on the amount of dark matter surrounding it.
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