Newton could be wrong. Astronomical observations point to an alternative theory of gravity

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Newton could wrong. Astronomical observations point to an alternative theory of gravity

Scientists have been able to detect mysterious behavior of star clusters that contradicts the current understanding of gravity on a cosmic scale.

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An international team of scientists has observed several open star clusters in which thousands of young stars emerge from a large cloud of gas and dust. It turned out that their observations are consistent with an alternative theory of gravity, which denies the existence of dark matter, writes New Atlas.

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Although Einstein's general theory of relativity now plays a major role in explaining various cosmic processes, Newton's law of universal gravitation still explains well the large-scale structure and motions of the universe. But the new observations don't exactly match these conventional patterns.

Newton could be wrong. Astronomical observations point to an alternative theory of gravity

Newton could wrong. Astronomical observations have pointed to an alternative theory of gravity

Scientists have studied star clusters that do not exist for very long, because they disappear over time as the stars move into the so-called “tails” – one is in front of the cluster, and another behind him.

If you follow Newton's law of gravity, then any star from this cluster can randomly end up in one of the two tails. This means that both of these tails should contain approximately the same number of stars. But scientists have found that the front tail has significantly more stars than the back tail in all observed star clusters. And this is contrary to Newton's laws.

Newton could

Newton could be wrong. Astronomical observations point to an alternative theory of gravity

So scientists decided to model the motions of stars based on an alternative theory of gravity called Modified Newtonian Dynamics (commonly known as MOND). This theory suggests that the effects of gravity are stronger at low accelerations, in which case the Law of Universal Gravitation may not work. Interestingly, the predictions of this theory matched well with what scientists saw.

“If we talk about the MOND theory, then according to it, stars can leave the star cluster in two different directions. But one “exit” leads to the rear tail, the other to the front. But the first is much narrower than the second, so the probability that a star through it leaves the cluster, less. On the other hand, Newton's theory of gravity predicts that both exits should be the same width,” says astrophysicist Pavel Kroupa, one of the authors of the study.

Another correspondence of observations to MOND theory is that that scientists have discovered that star clusters are disappearing faster than Newton's laws predict.

But the most important thing about the MOND theory is that it says that dark matter does not exist at all. Scientists came up with this mysterious substance in order to explain the discrepancy in the observed movement of stars and galaxies, which moved too fast for the mass they contained. Dark matter adds a huge amount of invisible mass that scientists have been looking for for decades. But so far, dark matter has not been discovered.

Newton could

Newton could be wrong. Astronomical observations point to an alternative theory of gravity

On the other hand, dark matter, which, according to scientists, makes up a large part of our Universe, can still well explain the processes taking place in space. Also, many studies have shown that this mysterious substance still exists. To date, the MOND theory, which is an alternative theory of gravity, has not found adequate support in the scientific community.

According to the authors of the new study, they want to create new simulations of space processes that will use other space objects, not just star clusters. Thus, they want to find either more confirmation of the MOND theory, or else its refutation.

As Focus already wrote, the Webb Space Telescope managed to detect an unusual dense mass in space, which can just and be that mysterious dark matter.

Focus also wrote that according to the new theory, dark matter is not at all what scientists imagine it to be.