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Miniature Black Holes May Be Hitting Earth Like Cosmic Bullets Once Every 1,000 Years

First Posted: Aug 23, 2016 06:25 AM EDT
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During the early part of this year, experts predicted that it's possible that the universe is filled with microscopic black holes that formed before our universe's existed. The NASA study revealed that these black holes could collide through space like cosmic bullets every 1,000 years.

Science Alert has reported that some of these primordial black holes could weigh almost as much as the Earth's Moon, others could weigh like an asteroid, and some would weigh somewhere between the 2 weights. However, no matter how much they weigh, it will still appear to be no bigger than the period in this sentence. And it may even sound like a bunch of science fiction, but it's not.

"Asteroid-mass black holes, if they were all of the dark matter, might pass through the Earth once a millennium or so, but would be very, very hard to detect," Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told Business Insider. "We certainly would notice if one passed near the Earth, since it would affect the orbits of all of our satellites," he wrote in an email.

Astrophysicists are running out of ideas to explain what most of the things in the Universe is made of. All they know is that about 80 percent of the Universe is made of dark matter, which uses a gravitational pull on the other 20 percent, made of 'normal matter', which has remained unseen to experiments for over 80 years. Devices, both in space and underground, have tried their best to search particles of dark matter for years, but have always turned up empty. This is one of the reasons why researchers are considering the scary idea that our Universe is surrounded by infinite number of black holes that have formed 13.8 billion years ago, Mail Online reported.

"On the dark matter particle side of the spectrum, the range of possibilities is narrowing down quickly," Kashlinsky explained. "If nothing is found there, and nothing is found in the black hole theater, then we may be in a crisis of science." Meanwhile, physicists clarified that they are not entirely sure that these microscopic black holes exists. Although there have been several reports that they do, the search to prove they exist has been more difficult than what was previously expected. Those scientists, who are seeking out ancient black holes, including Kashlinsky, think they're pretty heavy (probably between 20 and 100 times the mass of the Sun). The same idea even got further sensationalize after the recent discovery of gravitational waves, which is made up of two black holes of unusual size (30 solar masses) triggered when they collided.

However, an unpublished research on 'primordial' black holes suggests those that are very small in diameter could exist in droves. If these mini-black holes are real, Kashlinsky says the heaviest of them would weigh less than the Moon, yet would be shrunken down to about 0.25 millimetres in diameter, or about the width of a human hair.

Timothy Brandt, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study, said the very lightest, asteroid-size holes would have an apparent size of less than an atom. They think it is because black holes are so dense. They explained that beyond a certain point, any matter in the Universe squeezed tightly enough will collapse beyond gravitational destruction. "Asteroid-mass black holes, if they were all of the dark matter, might pass through Earth once a millennium or so, but would be very, very hard to detect," Brandt said. "If you had somebody right there, they might be able to observe one."

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