Scientists stunned by discovery of galaxy without dark matter

by Edgar Hayes March 30, 2018, 1:16
Scientists stunned by discovery of galaxy without dark matter

Galaxies are thought to be composed of visible matter-like stars, planets, and dust-and dark matter, an invisible substance that is believed to make up most of the mass in the universe.

"We thought all galaxies were made up of stars, gas and dark matter mixed together, but with dark matter always dominating", said Prof.

At the beginning of everything, those simulations suggest, all the matter we see in the galaxy was spread out in a thin gas.

The galaxy was discovered using the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a telescope in New Mexico that's custom-made to seek out these elusive targets.

A team from the Connecticut-based university used the Hubble Space Telescope to closely observe the galaxy, measuring its distance from Earth and looking at the star clusters within. Their measurements showed that this galaxy's stars can handle its rotational speed. That is because even if dark matter is not real, the observations that hint at its existence are.

Dr Richard Massey, a physicist at Durham University, agrees: "I'm genuinely very impressed with the work, and I'd use the conclusions to say that we should stare at these objects a lot harder for a lot longer - but I wouldn't conclude anything profound about dark matter quite yet", he told the BBC.

The absence of this mysterious stuff in NGC 1052-DF2, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, could shed light on galaxy formation and help scientists narrow down what dark matter actually is. It's like finding a body without a skeleton. Of course, they point out that most of the things we've found that look similar have turned out to have an excess of dark matter, so there's a lot we still need to figure out here. Or did the growth of the nearby massive elliptical galaxy NGC 1052 billions of years ago play a role in NGC 1052-DF2's dark matter deficiency?

However, it's still too early to throw out the old rules, says astrophysicist James Bullock of the University of California, Irvine.

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.

Follow-up observations were made by the Gemini North telescope, also on Mauna Kea, so the galaxy's structure could be studied.

"This has been a common experience of mine: When I find something that doesn't make sense in MOND, it usually doesn't make sense in dark matter, either", he wrote.

There's no good explanation for why and how this galaxy has no dark matter, van Dokkum said.

In fact, the best fit for the motion of the globular clusters is a galaxy with no dark matter at all, although the uncertainties are high enough that there could be equal amounts of matter and dark matter present. What has scientists so curious about this galaxy is that it is unusually transparent and appears to contain no dark matter.

As the mass of dark matter is greater than the regular matter, it holds together the important gases while the gases are in the formation stage.

We may not be able to spot dark matter, but astronomers can measure its gravitational effects acting on normal matter.

"I spent an hour just staring at the Hubble image", said van Dokkum, the Nasa website reports. If that's true, then every galaxy would follow these different laws of gravity and look like they have dark matter-without exception. "That object was a surprise in the other direction", he says.

The scientists recommend that the somewhat-odd look of the globular collections is possibly associated with the galaxy's unforeseen buildings, and also they introduced they're dealing with a paper that will certainly explain those.

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