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For more than 30 years, scientists have claimed that the Universe is packed with dark matter even though no one has ever spotted a particle of dark matter on our planet. The discovery of a ghostly galaxy that apparently contains no dark matter challenges this decades-old assumption.
Old theories claim that the elusive matter is the fabric of the universe and that it is five times more numerous than ordinary matter. Scientists believe that without dark matter, galaxies would just collapse.
Researchers estimate that there is 30 times more dark matter than ordinary one in the Milky Way by just looking at the pace of its rotation. So far, every single galaxy that astronomers have analyzed contains the elusive matter, except for this one.
The newly found galaxy is located 65 million years from Earth. Researchers believe that the unusually transparent galaxy doesn’t contain any dark matter. In addition, the stars in that galaxy are grouped in bright clusters also known as globular clusters. Each cluster contains millions of stars.
The Discovery Challenges Old Theories
The new discovery could revolutionize what scientists have long believed about dark matter and the creation of galaxies. Past theories suggested that galaxies can only form if the dark matter is present.
“Dark matter accumulates; ordinary gas falls into it; it turns into stars, and then you get a galaxy,” researcher Jeremiah Ostriker summed the process up.
Researchers have long believed that a galaxy with no dark matter is an impossibility just like a body without a skeleton.
The ghostly galaxy, NGC1052-DF2, however, may not throw out the old theories just yet. Some researchers speculate that it formed like normal galaxies do and at one point it, its dark matter was stripped away by a neighboring galaxy.
Image Source: Pxhere