Gas rich galaxies confirm prediction of modified gravity theory

Could this new research show failings in the dark matter/energy theory? Looks to us that both theories need a bit more work – Deskarati

Recent data for gas rich galaxies precisely match predictions of a modified theory of gravity know as MOND according to a new analysis by University of Maryland Astronomy Professor Stacy McGaugh. This — the latest of several successful MOND predictions — raises new questions about accuracy of the reigning cosmological model of the universe, writes McGaugh in a paper to be published in March in Physical Review Letters

Modern cosmology says that for the universe to behave as it does, the mass-energy of the universe must be dominated by dark matter and dark energy. However, direct evidence for the existence of these invisible components remains lacking. An alternate, though unpopular, possibility is that the current theory of gravity does not suffice to describe the dynamics of cosmic systems.A few theories that would modify our understanding of gravity have been proposed. One of these is Modified Newtonian Dynamics MOND, which was hypothesized in 1983 by Moti Milgrom a physicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. One of MONDs predictions specifies the relative relationship between the mass of any galaxy and its flat rotation velocity. However, uncertainties in the estimates of masses of stars in star-dominated spiral galaxies such as our own Milky Way previously had precluded a definitive test.To avoid this problem, McGaugh examined gas rich galaxies, which have relatively fewer stars and a preponderance of mass in the form of interstellar gas. “We understand the physics of the absorption and release of energy by atoms in the interstellar gas, such that counting photons is LIKE counting atoms. This gives us an accurate estimate of the mass of such galaxies,” McGaugh said.

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