Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Dark Matter

Q:
Could the supermassive black holes discovered at the center of nearly all visible galaxies possibly make up for the lack of mass observed in the universe? And since so little is know about the interior regions of a black hole, where the majority of physics and mathematics may not even be applicable, could the computations of the mass of these large bodies be miscalculated?

A:
It does not seem possible that supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies can account for the dark matter, for two reasons. First, research over the past few years has shown that the mass of the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies is less than a percent of the mass of their host galaxy. Secondly, the distribution of the dark matter is not consistent with a central massive object. In order to explain the motions of the stars and galaxies, it must be spread out throughout the individual galaxies, and beyond, so that a more appropriate view would be of a galaxy embedded in a large invisible ball of dark matter.

Back | Index | Next