Regular Article – Theoretical Physics
Galactic rotation curve and dark matter according to gravitomagnetism
National Institute for Space Research, 12227-010, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
2 National Commission for Nuclear Energy, 22294-900, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Accepted: 7 February 2021
Published online: 23 February 2021
Historically, the existence of dark matter has been postulated to resolve discrepancies between astrophysical observations and accepted theories of gravity. In particular, the measured rotation curve of galaxies provided much experimental support to the dark matter concept. However, most theories used to explain the rotation curve have been restricted to the Newtonian potential framework, disregarding the general relativistic corrections associated with mass currents. In this paper it is shown that the gravitomagnetic field produced by the currents modifies the galactic rotation curve, notably at large distances. The coupling between the Newtonian potential and the gravitomagnetic flux function results in a nonlinear differential equation that relates the rotation velocity to the mass density. The solution of this equation reproduces the galactic rotation curve without recourse to obscure dark matter components, as exemplified by three characteristic cases. A bi-dimensional model is developed that allows to estimate the total mass, the central mass density, and the overall shape of the galaxies, while fitting the measured luminosity and rotation curves. The effects attributed to dark matter can be simply explained by the gravitomagnetic field produced by the mass currents.
© The Author(s) 2021
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