Astronomers perplexed to find that distant galaxy has no dark matter

30 March, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Grady King
  • Astronomers baffled by distant galaxy that doesn't have any dark matter

Scientists have discovered a galaxy with nearly no dark matter. Is this some type of special galaxy that is the first of its kind to be identified or did a catastrophic event such as the birth of numerous massive stars, push out all of the gas and dark matter around them? "What we found is that there is no dark matter at all". Based on what we know of other galaxies of similar mass, it should contain nearly one hundred times more dark matter than visible matter.

Compared to other galaxies of the same brightness, "it has at least 400 times less dark matter than what we expected", says astrophysicist Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. "This invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy".

Astronomers will be looking to find other galaxies in the universe.

Astronomers baffled by distant galaxy that doesn't have any dark matter

In that study, the researchers found an object that could exist in a universe that has dark matter, but that would be almost unimaginable in a MOND universe: a totally normal galaxy, one that seems to operate without any dark matter-type forces. These galaxies are more similar to the size of the known spiral galaxies but have less number of stars. In fact, the research team had previously looked at galaxies of the same class as NGC1052-DF2 and found they were made up nearly entirely of dark matter. It is nearly as big as the Milky Way but is "ultra-diffuse", meaning it contains just a vanishing fraction of the stars found in our galaxy-only 1 percent, in this case. Now researchers are pondering possible explanations for this missing dark matter in NGC 1052-DF2.

The ideal fit for the activity of the globular collections is a galaxy with no dark issue at all, although the unpredictabilities are high sufficient that there might be equivalent quantities of issue as well as dark issue existing.

Closer monitorings utilizing the Hubble and also 10-meter Keck telescopes revealed that the item, now described NGC1052- DF2, belonged to a lately uncovered course of things called ultra-diffuse galaxies.

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Van Dokkum and his team spotted the galaxy with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a custom-built telescope in New Mexico they created to find these ghostly galaxies. The team are now turning to look at other ultra-diffuse galaxies to see whether any others are similarly deficient in dark matter. The researchers then set about measuring the movements of the clusters as a way to estimate the galaxy's total mass.

But if dark matter is real, physicists still have to explain how the stars of NGC 1052-DF2 got separated from it. It appears to contain virtually no dark matter. It is about the size of our own galaxy, but only one-hundredth of its stars, while - unlike ours - it does not have a black hole in its center. Gemini revealed that the galaxy does not show signs of an interaction with another galaxy.

By observing it with the Hubble telescope, Pieter van Dokkum likens it to "a enormous blob through which we can see".

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If you look around and out at the stars, what you see - and what astronomers can see using complex telescopes - accounts for just five per cent of what is contained in the universe. "It is literally a see-through galaxy".

The ghostly galaxy doesn't have a noticeable central region, or even spiral arms and a disk, typical features of a spiral galaxy. They likewise state that they've recognized a variety of various other galaxies that look rather comparable. However, this galaxy doesn't seem to have the tail-like features that typically accompany this process.

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