Latest in Science

Image credit:

Strange galaxy is made almost entirely of dark matter

Dragonfly 44 has the mass of our galaxy, but only a fraction of the stars.
1177 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

A galaxy isn't big just because it has many stars in it. A worldwide research group has discovered that a galaxy in the Coma cluster, Dragonfly 44, consists of 99.99 percent dark matter. It has about as much mass as our own Milky Way galaxy, but far fewer stars. The team determined the presence of the invisible, mysterious substance based on the motions of the stars themselves -- there were too few of them to be moving so quickly. If there weren't a gravitational force like dark matter to hold them together, those stars would simply fly away.

Dragonfly 44 raises more questions than it solves right now. The team's Roberto Abraham tells Wired that it's unclear as to how a dark matter galaxy on this scale could form. Previous examples were much smaller. It's possible that the formations of the stars (very dense clusters) are a clue, but that's as far as astronomers can go right now. The hope is that someone will find a similar galaxy closer to home, increasing the chances of finding a dark matter particle and making some sense out a baffling (but virtually ubiquitous) aspect of the universe.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1177 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ gathered location data while users slept

‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ gathered location data while users slept

View
Yahoo is shutting down its Groups website and deleting all content

Yahoo is shutting down its Groups website and deleting all content

View
Google discontinues Clips, the AI-powered camera you forgot about

Google discontinues Clips, the AI-powered camera you forgot about

View
Netflix grows to 158 million subscribers as Disney+ looms

Netflix grows to 158 million subscribers as Disney+ looms

View
Virgin Galactic passengers will wear these Under Armour spacesuits

Virgin Galactic passengers will wear these Under Armour spacesuits

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr