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Science 28 Aug 2016 A galaxy that is mad ...

A galaxy that is made entirely of dark matter

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 28, 2016, 11:01 am IST
Updated Aug 28, 2016, 11:01 am IST
A worldwide research group has discovered a galaxy in the Coma Cluster that consists of 99.99 per cent dark matter.
(Image credit: Daniel Eisenstein and SDSS-III)
 (Image credit: Daniel Eisenstein and SDSS-III)

A massive galaxy consisting of 99.99 per cent of dark matter (Dark matter is the invisible ‘gravitational glue’ that holds galaxies together) has been recently discovered by a worldwide research group. This galaxy is called Dragonfly 44 and is roughly the same size as the Milky Way.

An international team of astronomers spotted it last year. They made use of the WM Keck Observatory and the Gemini North Telescope in Manuakea, Hawaii and observed a rather, strange region in the sky around the Coma Cluster.

 

 “Motions of the stars tell you how much matter there is,” Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University explained. “They don’t care what form the matter is, they just tell you that it’s there. In the Dragonfly galaxy stars move very fast. So there was a huge discrepancy: using Keck Observatory, we found many times more mass indicated by the motions of the stars, than there is mass in the stars themselves.”

This has paved ways for the future of exploring dark matter. Previously, the only galaxies that were discovered with dark matter were tiny. This discovery has opened up a whole new class of massive objects that can be studied.

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