Gravity passing through a hypothetical wormhole at the centre of the Milky Way could alter the orbits of nearby stars – according cosmologists in China and the US who are developing new ways to search for wormholes.
A theoretical consequence of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, wormholes are “shortcuts” that link distant points in space. They can, in theory, be “dug” through space–time by the immense mass of a gravitational singularity such as a black hole. To date, wormholes have not been observed and it is not known whether they do exist in nature.
To establish if wormholes exist, astronomers need to know what observational signatures they should look for. De-Chang Dai of the Centre for Gravity and Cosmology at Yangzhou University and Dejan Stojkovic of the University at Buffalo, suggest that evidence of a wormhole could be extracted from the motions of stars around Sagittarius A*, which is the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
If there is a wormhole associated with Sagittarius A*, then the mouth of the wormhole would be larger than the black hole’s event horizon – the radius at which nothing can escape the black hole. This means that ...