A Wormhole Close to Home and 2 Other Astonishing Space Holes

January 27, 2015 Updated: January 27, 2015

It’s possible a wormhole exists in the middle of the Milky Way that could be large and stable enough for a spaceship to enter. “In theory, the Milky Way could be a ‘galactic transport system,'” summarizes a press release from SISSA in Trieste, Italy. 

Previously, scientists thought wormholes would only be the size of pinholes, but this finding shows it is possible for a large wormhole—like the one in the recent movie “Interstellar”—to exist. And such wormholes could exist not only at the center of our galaxy, but also in other galaxies with similar conditions. No wormhole has been found, but theoretically, there could be one there.

Professor Paulo Salucci explained, according to the press release: “If we combine the map of the dark matter in the Milky Way with the most recent Big Bang model to explain the universe and we hypothesise the existence of space-time tunnels, 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.”

He continued: “But there’s more. We could even travel through this tunnel, since, based on our calculations, it could be navigable.”

The theory proposes a complex reflection upon what exactly dark matter is. Scientists have hypothesized that dark matter, the mysterious substance that comprises a huge portion of the universe, may be explained by the existence of particles known as neutralinos. But these particles have not yet been found. Salucci said alternative theories should be considered: “Dark matter may be ‘another dimension,’ perhaps even a major galactic transport system. In any case, we really need to start asking ourselves what it is.”

The study was published the journal Annals of Physics November last year. 

Colossal ‘Hole’ in Space Could Be Link to Universe Beyond Our Own

Leave this world, travel 6 billion–10 billion light years toward the Eridanus constellation, and you’ll run into a giant cosmic wall of nothingness.

A void in space 1 billion light years across stumped scientists when it was discovered in 2007—then another void spanning 3.5 billion light years was discovered in 2009. These voids cannot be explained by the current understanding of the universe’s structure and evolution.

About 6 billion to 10 billion light years from Earth, the cosmos seems to drop off into a giant void. (Concept image of a void via Shutterstock)
About 6 billion to 10 billion light years from Earth, the cosmos seems to drop off into a giant void. (Concept image of a void via Shutterstock)

It is said that smaller voids have formed by gravitational pull following the Big Bang. But voids of this size could not have formed in the amount of time following the Big Bang, they would require much more time to form.

They contain neither galaxies nor clusters, explains a New Scientist article, and infrasonic mapping has shown the so-called Eridanus void to be cold, suggesting it lacks dark matter.

“Standard cosmology cannot explain such a giant cosmic hole,” Laura Mersini-Houghton, associate professor of theoretical physics and cosmology at the University of North Carolina, told New Scientist. Her theory: “It is the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own.”

Astronomers hypothesize about the voids, but no conclusions have been reached. It remains a mystery.
The known universe is estimated to be about 93.5 billion light years across, meaning the void spanning 3.5 billion light years takes up about 3 percent of the universe.

‘No-one has ever seen a hole like this’

The European Space Agency (EPA) was checking out a cloud of bright reflective gas known as NGC 1999 with its Herschel telescope in 2010, when it made an unexpected discovery. A black patch of sky next to NGC 1999 was expected to be a dense cloud of dust and gas blocking the light. Instead it was a hole unlike any astronomer had ever seen before.

NGC 1999 and its gaping hole. (STScI, NASA)
NGC 1999 and its gaping hole. (STScI, NASA)

“Herschel’s infrared eyes are designed to see into such clouds. Either the cloud was immensely dense or something was wrong,” explained a press release. Further investigation revealed, however, that the area was truly empty, that “Something has blown a hole right through the cloud,” said EPA.

“No-one has ever seen a hole like this,” says Tom Megeath, of the University of Toledo, according to the release. Narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region or radiation from a mature star may have punctured the dust and gas that forms NGC 1999.

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*Artist’s rendering of a wormhole via Shutterstock