Is There a Galaxy with No Dark Matter At All?

U of T Yale astronomers discover'see-through galaxy with almost no dark matter

However, a newly discovered galaxy named NGC1052-DF2 is believed to have practically no dark matter at all, with 400 times less of the material than expected based on its volume and size.

The slower the objects in a system move, the less mass there is in that system.The team's calculations show that all of the mass in the galaxy could be attributed to the mass of the stars, which means there is nearly no dark matter in NGC1052-DF2."If there is any dark matter at all, it's very little".

First identified with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array (DFA) and later observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the Gemini Observatory and the Keck Observatory, the galaxy without dark matter stunned scientists. "It's so rare, particularly these days after so many years of Hubble, that you get an image of something and you say, 'I've never seen that before'. It is literally a see-through galaxy", he added.

Van Dokkum studies diffuse galaxies, ones that cover enormous areas but have relatively few stars.

Now, it seems that at least some galaxies exist with many stars and gases, and little dark matter. Thus, it is being speculated that the formation of this particular galaxy ought to be very different from the formation of the other galaxies that consist dark matter. "To me, there are many ways that you could form a galaxy like this - for example, in a collision of other galaxies". Notably, most of the galaxies are believed to be comprised of more dark matter than regular matter.

Galaxy without any dark matter baffles astronomers

At the beginning of everything, those simulations suggest, all the matter we see in the galaxy was spread out in a thin gas. Confusing things further, the galaxy appears extremely similar to others that are almost entirely composed of dark matter.

Astronomers first discovered the galaxy in 2000 as a smudge on old photographic plates. The ones in NGC 1052-DF2 are mysterious in and of themselves: Many are comparable in brightness to Omega Centauri, the single brightest globular cluster in the Milky Way.

Therefore, researchers were surprised when they uncovered a galaxy that is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter. Or, van Dokkum speculates, perhaps this ultra-diffuse, dark-matter-free galaxy arose from two streams of gas that collided and compressed to form a scattering of stars. In one, a sudden explosion of massive star-birth inside the galaxy could have cleared out all of its gas and dark matter. The formation of NGC 1052-DF2 may have been helped by powerful winds emanating from the young black hole that was growing in the center of NGC 1052. Will they find more of these dark matter deficient galaxies? From those measurements, the team calculated the galaxy's mass. It is located about 65 million light-years away in the constellation of Cetus. Yet in this odd galaxy, the projected signatures of these exotic effects are not seen. Another idea is that it formed from matter spewed out by quasars.

Scientists conducted a study on this, publishing their findings in the journal Nature.

Speculative explanations include that a collision or cataclysmic event within the galaxy resulted in all the dark matter being swept away. "The stars in the galaxy can account for all of the mass, and there doesn't seem to be any room for dark matter". They can't agree on what it's made of, how much a single particle weighs, or the best way to construct a Play-Doh diorama of it. NGC1052-DF2 disproves that theory, providing further evidence to the actual existence of dark matter.

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