Friday, March 30, 2018

Astronomers Discover Distant Galaxy Devoid of Dark Matter

 Researchers using data amassed from the Gemini North and W. M. Keck Observatories have discovered a galaxy almost completely empty of dark matter.
 Researchers using data amassed from the Gemini North and W. M. Keck Observatories have discovered a galaxy almost completely empty of dark matter.
 Known as NGC1052-DF2, this galaxy is classified as an ultra-diffuse galaxy, a relatively new type of galaxy first discovered in 2015. However unlike other ultra-diffuse galaxies (which are actually quite common), no other galaxy has yet been discovered lacking so much dark matter.
 "Finding a galaxy without dark matter is unexpected because this invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy," said lead author Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. "For decades, we thought that galaxies start their lives as blobs of dark matter. After that everything else happens: gas falls into the dark matter halos, the gas turns into stars, they slowly build up, then you end up with galaxies like the Milky Way. NGC1052-DF2 challenges the standard ideas of how we think galaxies form."
 "Without the Gemini images dissecting the galaxy's morphology we would have lacked context for the rest of the data," said Shany Danieli, a Yale University graduate student on the research team. "Also, Gemini's confirmation that NGC1052-DF2 is not currently interacting with another galaxy will help us answer questions about the conditions surrounding its birth."

Read more about this fascinating story at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-dark-galaxy.html
Or read the full study at:  https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25767

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