Observations of supermassive black holes at the centers of ancient and dormant galaxies show that they growing more than expected, pointing to a likely source of dark energy, aligning with a phenomenon predicted in Einstein’s theory of gravity.
The result potentially means nothing new has to be added to our picture of the Universe to account for dark energy: black holes combined with Einstein’s gravity are the source.
The conclusion was reached by a team of 17 researchers in nine countries, led by the University of Hawai’i and including Imperial College London and STFC RAL Space physicists. The work is published in two papers in the journals The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Study co-author Dr. Dave Clements, from the Department of Physics at Imperial, said:
“This is a really surprising result. We started off looking at how black holes grow over time and may have found the answer to one of the biggest problems in cosmology.”