When we think of the universe, we often think it is made up of matter. However the discovery of a galaxy made up of dark matter might change how we look at the universe. Scientists have recently discovered a galaxy completely made of dark matter. This discovery, named Dragonfly 44, might force people to rethink our universe.
The dark matter galaxy is said to be massive, as Science Daily reports. It has been named as Dragonfly 44 and is located at the Coma Berenices constellation. What is interesting about this galaxy is that for its size, it has few stars. This has led astronomers to think that there might be more to the galaxy that is holding it up together.
"Very soon after its discovery, we realized the galaxy had to be more than meets the eye," Yale University astronomer Pieter Van Dokkum said. Van Dokkum and his team has been observing Dragonfly 44 in W.M. Keck University and through the Gemini North telescope. Both are in Hawaii.
What tipped them off about the galaxy's composition is how the stars are moving in it. Van Dokkum's team has noted that the stars in Dragonfly 44 are moving at great velocities. This is despite the galaxy being dim, which has then led them to conclude that there must be a large amount of unseen mass that is in that galaxy.
Mysterious Universe states that Dragonfly 44 has a mass almost 1 trillion times that of the Sun. This is almost as large as that of our Milky Way. Yet for such a large mass it has only a few observable mass or light matter. The rest then is made up of dark matter.
With this discovery, Van Dokkum has said that it could lead astronomers and other scientists to a closer understanding of dark matter. It might even lead to the discovery of dark matter itself. While the discovery of a dark galaxy is nothing new, it is challenging present views about the universe and could lead to a change on how we see it. Where it leads to is something that would be exciting for many.
Check out also iTechPost and its recent coverage of Proxima B and the possibility of life there.