Dragonfly 44 Galaxy Is Almost Totally Composed Of Dark Matter

Posted: Aug 26 2016, 5:14am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Dragonfly 44 Galaxy is Almost Totally Composed of Dark Matter
The dark galaxy Dragonfly 44. The image on the left is from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Only a faint smudge is visible. The image on the right is a long exposure with the Gemini telescope, revealing a large, elongated object. Dragonfly 44 is very faint for its mass and consists almost entirely of dark matter. Credit: Pieter van Dokkum, Roberto Abraham, Gemini, Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Dragonfly 44 is Almost Totally Composed of Dark Matter

It seems to be the case that Dragonfly 44 is a galaxy that is almost totally composed of dark matter.

Via the world’s most powerful telescopes, an entire galaxy composed of dark matter has been discovered. Dark matter happens to be the gravitational solder that keeps galaxies closely knit as constructs of the universe.

They make up the majority of the mass of the cosmos. Termed Dragonfly 44, the galaxy has the same mass as our Milky Way, yet it does not have the same number of stars. Our galaxy has a hundred times more stars in it.

The galaxy is so dim that it has escaped the notice of astronomers for many years. This is so in spite of the fact that it is not that far away from our own Milky Way galaxy.

An international group of skygazers caught a glimpse of this galaxy in 2015. The galaxy had more in it than was thought to be evident at first sight. For one thing, it had very few stars in it.

This would be a sure sign of it having been ripped apart by the forces of the universe. Yet such a thing had never happened. Thus it must be held together by some other force. This could only be dark matter.

To determine the amount of dark matter in Dragonfly 44, the astronomers used an instrument named DEIMOS which lay on the Keck II. Then the GMOS was used to show a few stars at the core of the galaxy.

Their movements showed how much matter existed in Dragonfly 44. The nature of the matter was irrelevant here. All that mattered was that it existed as a brute fact. In Dragonfly 44, the stars moved quickly.

This was thus an anomaly that had to be resolved. The total mass of this galaxy was a trillion times that of our sun. This resembles the mass of our Milky Way. Yet a hundredth of 1% was normal matter. The rest was dark matter.

This makes the Dragonfly 44 galaxy one of the fluffiest of galaxies in the universe. While the Milky Way is a virtual ocean of stars, galaxies like the Dragonfly 44 are wispy clouds of fluff.

The region they inhabit is chaotic and subject to conflicting forces. How this galaxy and others like it formed is a mystery. At the present moment, all we have regarding knowledge of this galaxy is conjecture. In the future, more information will become available.

The findings of this study are published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters on Thursday.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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