What if the things you learned about gravity in grade school were wrong? That’s what some scientists believe, and their views challenge the established narrative of the laws of gravity. However, this alternative theory could lead to new discoveries and help us learn about our place in the universe.

What is dark matter?

Dark matter is an invisible matter that comprises around 30 percent of the universe and supposedly causes planets and stars to orbit in irregular patterns. Scientists can locate traces of dark matter within the cosmic microwave background, which is the imprint of the universe. With that, some researchers don’t believe in dark matter and think the laws of gravity have some notable flaws.

Wired

A flaw in the armor

Israeli physicist Mordehai Milgrom proposed that Newton was partially wrong about the laws of gravity and discounted the existence of dark matter. Milgrom’s theory is called modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND). The theory edits Newton’s second law of motion, which states that moving objects are relative to the amount of force imposed on it.

Wired

Misbehaving stars

Milgrom maintains that laws change in certain instances, such as when a star is far away from a galactic center. In a spiral galaxy, for instance, a star is located near the center due to its mass and gravitational force. However, Milgrom’s displacement of Newton’s law caused researchers to wonder how stars orbit.

Syfy Wire

Colliding worlds

Under standard gravity laws, a star that’s away from the center should orbit slowly, and one close to the center should accelerate faster. However, physicists have found distant stars that move in the same motion as a center star. Many researchers believe that dark matter is making distant stars behave in an erratic fashion, but Milgrom contends that unusual galaxies with out-of-place stars stem from colliding galaxies or ones that function in clusters.

Michael Richmond

What would happen to us?

If our galaxy encountered another one, it could turn into an elliptical galaxy, which is one that retains irregular star orbits. In addition, a supermassive black hole is at the center of nearly every elliptical galaxy. If a black hole formed within our galaxy, for instance, Earth could be sucked into the void, turning the planet into a spaghetti strand that dooms all life on Earth.

Newsweek