Hubble telescope discovers galaxy with no dark matter

Galaxy Without Dark Matter

Galaxy Without Dark Matter

"This one was clearly made some other way". That would only make sense if there was no dark matter at all acting on them, a finding confirmed when the researchers subsequently calculated the mass of the galaxy.

There have been galaxies that have formed containing more dark matter than current galaxy formation theories suggest is possible. "This invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy". "To me, there are many ways that you could form a galaxy like this - for example, in a collision of other galaxies".

Astronomers have detected for the first time a galaxy that is devoid of dark matter, the plentiful but enigmatic material that does not emit light or energy and had been considered a fundamental part of all galaxies including our own Milky Way. 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. Hubble helped to accurately confirm the distance of NGC 1052-DF2 to be 65 million light-years and determined its size and brightness. The newly discovered galaxy is about the volume and size of the Milky Way but has 200 times fewer stars.

Unlike mirror-based devices, the mobile Dragonfly Telescope Array is composed entirely of nano-coated lenses, 48 in all.

Dokkum's team used the Keck telescopes in Hawaii to track the motion of several star clusters - each with about 100,000 stars - within the galaxy.

Experts have described DF2 as "ghostly" as a result of its lack of dark matter and scant stars. If that's true, then every galaxy would follow these different laws of gravity and look like they have dark matter-without exception. Gemini revealed that the galaxy does not show signs of an interaction with another galaxy. Bullock thinks that as the dark matter particles reached the extremes of their orbits, forces from the neighboring galaxy could have ripped them away. "It's so rare, particularly these days after so many years of Hubble, that you get an image of something and you say, 'I've never seen that before.' This thing is astonishing: a huge blob that you can look through".

It's a "game changer" galaxy, astronomers are saying, and it's like nothing we've ever seen before.

Van Dokkum said NGC1052-DF2 is so sparse that "it is literally a see-through galaxy". It doesn't fit the characteristics of a spiral galaxy, which typically have dense, central regions, spiral arms, and a disk. But it doesn't look like an elliptical galaxy, either.

The point sources proved to be 10 globular clusters-compact and spherical groupings of stars orbiting the galaxy's core. They accumulate slowly and we end up with galaxies of the type of the Milky Way. Yet in this unusual galaxy, the projected signatures of these exotic effects are not seen. "How you actually go about forming one of these things is completely unknown".

But the researchers do have some ideas.

One outsider suggested that perhaps the "galaxy" Van Dokkum studied is so diffuse that it may not really be a galaxy. Another idea is that it formed from matter spewed out by quasars.

The researchers approached this distant galaxy in the same way. When dark matter is present, that galaxy's gravity will be bulked up, causing its stars to move faster than if just normal matter were present. They are analyzing Hubble images of 23 other diffuse galaxies. Already have suspicions of three, whom they will notice better.

On the off chance that astronomers truly have discovered an "undark" galaxy, it's a solid piece of information that dark matter is genuine. Because there's some regular issue right here, any kind of variation of customized gravity would certainly have that issue generate dark-matter-like impacts. "Maybe this is what you would get".

The research was published online in the journal Nature. Hubble took this image on 16 November 2017 using its Advanced Camera for Surveys. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope.

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