Collage of maps showing dark matter
(Mirror Daily, United States) Dark matter is part of the universe, but, as far as our galaxy is concerned, it is lighted up by shiny stars. New research in the field of astronomy revealed a new galaxy, which, surprisingly, is made up almost entirely of unperceivable mass.
The newly discovered galaxy was called Dragonfly 44, and it is to be found 300 light years away from Earth. The discovery was made by accident, as scientists were looking for something else when they came across the dark matter galaxy. Although it is as big as the Milky Way, it only has 1% of its glow.
Dark matter still puzzles scientists, as they don’t know for sure what it is since they haven’t been able to study it so far. It consists of mass and energy of the universe, and this is how far the scientific knowledge on the subject goes.
Dragonfly 44 was actually discovered earlier, in 2015, with the help of specially designed telescopes. These special telescopes, called Dragonfly Telephoto Array, are endowed with eight lenses so that scientists should to be able to see dark objects and spaces in the universe which can’t be perceived by other types of telescopes.
The 2015 discovery was made in New Mexico.
There are other galaxies in the universe, as big as the Milky Way and the Dragonfly 44, which are also filled with dark matter, thus lacking stars. There are at least 1,000 such galaxies.
The new study on the Dragonfly 44 dark matter galaxy was conducted by Pieter van Dokkum. What researchers have recently focused on was the possibility of dark matter holding galaxies together. Their research provided the scientific community with evidence that Dragonfly 44 is 99% opaque mass, dark matter. This time, they used different appliances and telescopes than Dragonfly Telephoto Array, namely the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrometer (GMOS). The instrument allowed them to see colors in the galaxy.
According to Space, Pieter van Dokkum stated the importance of the study:
“This has big implications for the study of dark matter. It helps to have objects that are almost entirely made of dark matter so we don’t get confused by stars and all the other things that galaxies have. The only such galaxies we had to study before were tiny. This finding opens up a whole new class of massive objects that we can study.”
The study on the new galaxy ruled by unperceivable mass was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, on August 25.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia