Hubble Discovers Bizarre Galaxy --"Astonishing Gigantic 'See-Through' Blob With No Dark Matter"

Ignacio Smith
April 1, 2018

However, precisely because it is so unique and unusual, it might help astronomers solve some of the fundamental questions around the mysterious dark matter.

Dark matter is a form of matter whose presence is discernable only through its gravitational interactions with baryonic, or "normal", matter. It turns out that a galaxy without dark matter is incompatible with models that replace it using modified gravity.

Ultra-diffuse galaxies are common, but no other galaxy of this type yet-discovered is so lacking in dark matter, researchers said."Finding a galaxy without dark matter is unexpected because this invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy", said Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University in the US."For decades, we thought that galaxies start their lives as blobs of dark matter".

This is highly uncommon for galaxies.

The galaxy, charmingly named NGC1052-DF2, is about 65 million light-years away and is about one two-hundredths the mass of our own Milky Way galaxy.

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The Yale scientists discovered NGC1052-DF2 with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a custom built instrument used to identify very faint objects. "The stars in the galaxy can account for all of the mass, and there doesn't seem to be any room for dark matter".

The scientists apparently expect the kind of inquiries that will certainly be presented by individuals that see this and also ask yourself why we require any kind of dark issue around anyhow (a populace that consists of a variety of routine Ars visitors).

"The absence of dark matter from a small patch of sky might appear to be a non-problem, given that astronomers have never directly observed dark matter anywhere", says The Guardian. By following the movement of 10 inserted star clusters, the group could decide how much mass is tucked into the system.

But if dark matter is real, physicists still have to explain how the stars of NGC 1052-DF2 got separated from it. They are also now planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. What they found shocked them: The clusters were hardly moving at all. That thinking led van Dokkum and his colleagues to build the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a telescope in New Mexico created for the express goal of scrutinizing ultra-diffuse galaxies.

Even though the galaxy is mostly empty, they found clusters of densely grouped stars. However you wouldn't expect that galaxy to be as big as this object (it's nearly the size of the Milky Way), and you'd also expect to see some other remnants around from the merger event. There could potentially be none. Exactly 400 times less than it should.

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It's unclear how this ultra-diffuse galaxy developed without dark matter. The gas crunched together in balls, lit up as stars, and formed planets and galaxies. Or perhaps its growth was influenced by a massive galaxy nearby.

Van Dokkum and his team plan to keep searching for similar galaxies-or just any other weird thing that challenges the current understanding of dark matter.

"Now wait", you may be thinking, "how does a lack of dark matter make a galaxy transparent when the substance is invisible?" Researchers call the second proposed solution modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), which suggests that if the laws are properly tweaked, the universe would make sense without dark matter.

But if that were the case, this effect would have to be everywhere, all the time.

And what about NGC 1052-DF2? "It may mean there are places in the early universe where you had a lot of gas but not a lot of dark matter, and that's something we hadn't expected". "It's like you take a galaxy and also you just have the excellent halo and also globular collections, as well as it in some way neglected to earn whatever else", kept in mind van Dokkum.

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