The standard view about dark matter is in grave difficulties. The latest blow against the theory comes from the observation that Milky Way has a distribution of satellite galaxies and star clusters, which rotate around the Milky Way in plane orthogonal to Milky Way's plane. One can visualize the situation in terms of two orthogonal planes such that the second plane contains Milky Way and second one the satellite galaxies and globular clusters. The Milky Way itself has size scale of .1 million light years whereas the newly discovered structure extends from about 33,000 light years to 1 million light years. The study is carried out by astronomers in Bonn University and will be published in journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The lead author is Ph. D. student Marcel Pawlowski.
According to authors, it is not possible to understand the structure in terms of the standard model for dark matter. This model assumes that galactic dark matter forms a spherical halo around galaxy. The problem is the planarity of the newly discovered matter distribution. Not only satellite galaxies and star clusters but also the long streams of material left - stars and also gas - behind them as they orbit around Milky Way move in this plane. Planarity seems to be a basic aspect of the internal dynamics of the system. As a matter fact, quantum view about formation of also galaxies predicts planarity and this allows also to understand approximate planarity of solar system (see this): common quantization axis of angular momentum defined by the direction of string like object in the recent case with a gigantic value of gravitational Planck constant defining the unit of angular momentum would provide a natural explanation for planarity.
The proposal of the researchers is that the situation is an outcome of a collision of two galaxies.
- An amusing co-incidence is that the original TGD inspired model for the formation of spiral galaxies (see this) assumed that they result when two primordial cosmic strings intersect each other. This would be nothing but the counterpart of closed string vertex giving also rise to reconnection of magnetic flux tubes. Later I gave up this assumption and introduced the model in which galaxies are like pearls in necklace defined by primordial cosmic strings which since then have thickened to magnetic flux tubes. These pearls could themselves correspond to closed string like objects or their decay products. Magnetic energy would transform to matter and would be the analog for the decay of inflaton field energy to particles in inflationary scenarios.
- In TGD Universe galactic dark matter would correspond to the matter assignable to the magnetic flux tube defining the necklace creating 1/ρ gravitational accelerating explaining constant velocity spectrum of distant stars in galactic plane. The basic prediction is that the motion of galaxies along the flux tube is free. This can give rise to large scale motions difficult to understand in Robertson-Walker cosmology. Note that one must distinguish between galactic dark matter and dark matter assigned to the hierarchy of Planck constants in general. This dark matter is expected to be crucial in living matter but its contribution to the total mass density can be negligible.
- The collision would have induced the decay of portions of these cosmic strings to ordinary and dark matter with large value of Planck constant. The magnetic energy of the cosmic strings identifiable as dark energy would have produced the matter. It is however not clear why the decay products would have remained in the planes orthogonal to the colliding orthogonal flux tubes. According to the researchers the planar structures must have existed before the collision.
- This suggests that the two flux tubes pass near each other and the galaxies have moved along the flux tubes and collided and remained stuck to each other by gravitational attraction. The probability of this kind of galactic collisions depends on what one assumes about the distribution of string like objects. Due to their mutual gravitational attraction the flux tubes could be attracted towards each other to form web like structures forming a network of cosmic highways. Milky Way would represent on particular node at which two highways form a cross-road. In this kind of situation the collisions resulting s cross-road crashes could be more frequent than those resulting from encounters of randomly moving strings. The galaxies arriving to this kind of nodes would tend to form a bound state and remain in the node. It could also happen that the second galaxy continues its journey but leaves matter behind in the form of satellite galaxies and globular clusters.
- It is encouraging that the TGD based explanation for galactic dark matter survives also this discovery as it survived the ealier finding that the nearby envinment of solar system does not contain dark matter in significant amounts as well as the finding of NASA that small faint galaxies do not possess dark matter halos (see the earlier posting)
For background see the chapter Cosmic Strings of "Physics in Many-Sheeted Space-time".