Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • Astronomers discovered galaxy missing its dark matter
  • Dark matter is believed to be integral to any galaxy
  • It is the glue which holds everything together

In a shocking discovery, astronomers have found a galaxy that is missing most — if not all — of its dark matter. This discovery of the galaxy NGC 1052-DF2, detailed in the journal Nature, challenges currently-accepted theories of and galaxy formation and provides new insights into the nature of dark matter.


Astronomers discovered a galaxy missing its dark matter. VOA


“Dark matter is conventionally believed to be an integral part of all galaxies — the glue that holds them together and the underlying scaffolding upon which they are built,” explained study co-author Allison Merritt from Yale University in the US and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany.

“This invisible, mysterious substance is by far the most dominant aspect of any galaxy. Finding a galaxy without any is completely unexpected; it challenges standard ideas of how galaxies work,” said lead researcher Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. “There is no theory that predicts these types of galaxies — how you actually go about forming one of these things is completely unknown,” Merritt said.

For the study, the researchers used the NASA/European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope and several other observatories. Hubble helped to accurately confirm the distance of NGC 1052-DF2 to be 65 million light-years and determined its size and brightness.


Dark matter is the glue which holds everything together in a galaxy. Wikimedia

Based on these data the team discovered that the newly discovered galaxy is larger than the Milky Way, but contains about 250 times fewer stars, leading it to be classified as an ultra diffuse galaxy. “I spent an hour just staring at this image,” van Dokkum said as he recalled first seeing the Hubble image of NGC 1052-DF2.

“This thing is astonishing: a gigantic blob so sparse that you see the galaxies behind it. It is literally a see-through galaxy,” he added. Further measurements of the dynamical properties of 10 globular clusters orbiting the galaxy allowed the team to infer an independent value of the galaxies mass.

This mass is comparable to the mass of the stars in the galaxy, leading to the conclusion that NGC 1052-DF2 contains at least 400 times less dark matter than astronomers predict for a galaxy of its mass, and possibly none at all.

Also Read: Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxy is of same size, not bigger

This discovery is unpredicted by current theories on the distribution of dark matter and its influence on galaxy formation. The discovery of NGC 1052-DF2 demonstrates that dark matter is somehow separable from galaxies. This is only expected if dark matter is bound to ordinary matter through nothing but gravity.


Dark matter is integral to all galaxies. Pixabay

Meanwhile, the researchers already have some ideas about how to explain the missing dark matter in NGC 1052-DF2. Did a cataclysmic event such as the birth of a multitude of massive stars sweep out all the gas and dark matter? 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?

These ideas, however, still do not explain how this galaxy formed. To find an explanation, the team is already hunting for more dark-matter deficient galaxies as they analyse Hubble images of 23 ultra-diffuse galaxies — three of which appear to be similar to NGC 1052-DF2. IANS


Popular

Pxhere

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore.

By Manav Bhatia

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore. Manav Bhatia, Founder Trunkin shares some tablescapes for the season

Christmas Tablescapes: Whether it's cherry red tablecloths or plush green napkin rings, there's something for everyone. Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year.

red and white candles on white ceramic vase Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year. | Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
VOA

Typically, Glaucoma occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age.

By IANSlife

Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.

Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.

Pink eye Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Chasse Sauvage on Unsplash

Sharing her personal insights on keeping our weight in place during the winter wedding season, Sakshi Bakshi, Founder of Nucros, has a few tips for all those health freaks out there!

By Sakshi Bakshi

The wedding season is in its full bloom, and almost every one of us has plans. In the spirit of celebration, it feels wrong to turn down our favourite appetizers, meals, and desserts! Our workout schedule and physical activities take a back seat. When it comes to maintaining your weight during wedding season, it can be challenging at times, but with the right amount of food intake and smart choices, it can all be kept in place. Sharing her personal insights on keeping our weight in place during the winter wedding season, Sakshi Bakshi, Founder of Nucros, has a few tips for all those health freaks out there!



  • Keep your diet in check: Always make sure keep it light in the day before a heavy night out. This means incorporating as many complex carbohydrates as possible, to keep the hunger in check for a long time while still being low in calories. Fruit and vegetables in the form of salads, soups, smoothies, etc. should be the priority. Stay away from high-fat soups consisting of thick cream and instead indulging in soups with a lot of vegetable content in them.

fruits on a light background Incorporate as many complex carbohydrates as possible, to keep the hunger in check for a long time while still being low in calories. | Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less