Some supermassive blackholes could actually be wormholes that link distant parts of the universe together, according to researchers in Russia.
The existence of wormholes, which connect two points in space or time, was first predicted by Albert Einstein but they have never been discovered.
Assuming wormholes exist, astrophysicists from the Central Astronomical Observatory in Russia have been investigating ways to distinguish a wormhole from a black hole. They believe that the presence of unusual gamma rays could be one such indicator.
In their investigation, researchers focused on supermassive blackholes that are believed to have masses millions of times that of the sun. One such blackhole is Sagittarius A*, which is approximately 4.5 million solar masses in size.
The key difference between wormholes and black holes, which both have an extremely intense gravitational pull, is that anything which enters a black hole is swallowed and cannot emerge.
Although it is thought that, in theory, wormholes can be travelled through to another part of the universe, it is unlikely that any manmade spacecraft could survive the intense radiation that surrounds them.
Now, researchers in Russia have suggested matter that enters through a wormhole on one end could collide with that entering through the other mouth of the wormhole at the same time, as per Space.com.
The scientists modelled the consequences of matter flowing through both mouths of a wormhole at once, to determine a meeting point. They found that the result of a collision would be spheres of plasma exploding from both mouths of the wormhole at a speed almost as fast as light.
The research showed that a collision would result in an explosion that would reach temperatures of approximately 18 trillion degrees Fahrenheit. At this level of heat, they found that the plasma would produce unusual gamma rays with energies of 68 million electronvolts.
The scientists reached the conclusion that these gamma rays suggest some black holes are actually wormholes, because the ring of plasma surrounding supermassive black holes does not emit gamma radiation.
‘Their temperature is too low for that,’ Mikhail Piotrovich, the lead author of the study, told Space.com.
‘What surprises me most of all is that no one has proposed this idea before, because it is rather simple,’ he said.
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