Defying all past theories, a bizarre galaxy with no dark matter has been recently detected by a group of scientists. The galaxy, NGC1052-DF2, is nearly as large as the Milky Way and has an unusual transparent look.
If the findings are confirmed, NGC1052-DF2 may be the first known galaxy devoid of dark matter. Current theories consider dark matter the scaffolding of the visible Universe and a key concept to understanding its creation.
The findings appeared this week in the journal Nature.
Study authors said they weren’t looking for a galaxy with no dark matter when they made the discovery. They had planned to analyze the so-called ultra-diffuse galaxies. Such galaxies are nearly as large as spiral galaxies, but the number of the stars is dramatically lower.
A Bizarre Galaxy
Lead author Prof Pieter van Dokkum unveiled that when he detected the bizarre galaxy he stared a lot at the image trying to understand what exactly it was. “It’s like this ghostly glow in the sky,” Dokkum added.
NGC1052-DF2 is home to a small number of stars, with many of the stars being grouped in bright clusters. Researchers found that the galaxy’s mass is made of stars exclusively while dark matter is nowhere to be found.
Dr Michelle Collins explained that in a normal galaxy there’s five times more dark matter than ordinary one. Collins, who is a researcher at the University of Surrey, was not involved in the discovery.
Since dark matter has a much greater mass than ordinary matter, scientists have speculated for years that dark matter is essential to hold the gas together during the formation of galaxies.
Astrophysicisst believe that NGC1052-DF2 was created in a way that defies current theories. Some believe that the newly found galaxy may have formed in the wake of interactions with the gas coming from nearby galaxies.
Image Source: Pexels
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