Is the dark matter light or is it gravity

Modified Newtonian Dynamics Does the universe need dark matter at all?

Simulation fits well with the galaxies actually observed

Pavel Kroupa from the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the RFW Uni Bonn and his working group have now simulated how a gas cloud would form a galaxy if the assumptions of the MOON theory were correct. "In many respects our results are remarkably close to what we actually observe with telescopes," says Kroupa. The distribution and speed of the stars, for example, would also correspond to observations of reality in the night sky.

The simulation does not yet completely agree with the observations of the universe. When repeating the calculation, even more precise assumptions about the original distribution of matter in the young universe would have to be made. "Our simulation is only a first step," says Kroupa.

Criticism of MOON: But cannot explain other phenomena very well

However, Volker Springel, director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich-Garching, does not believe that the work of the research group from Bonn can refute the theory of dark matter. "In this particular experiment under the conditions of the MOON theory, the simulated galaxy is actually a bit more compact and the brightness profile more similar to what we observe in reality," he says.

But even with simulations without changing Newton's theory, the results are not much worse. From his point of view, the results of his colleagues are therefore of no particular significance. Apart from the rotation curves of the galaxies, the MOON theory cannot explain much that can be explained by dark matter. "There are still too many contradictions," says the Munich astrophysicist.

New projects want to shed light on the darkness

One thing is certain: The discussion of whether there is dark matter and dark energy and what influence they really have in our universe will probably continue. But maybe one of the next research projects such as the Japanese "Dark Emulator" or the ESA and NASA projects Euclid and WFIRST will literally shed light on the darkness.