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Astronomers find long-missing dwarf galaxies—too many of them


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Astronomers find long-missing dwarf galaxies—too many of them

Apparent overabundance means theories of how galaxies took shape in the early universe may need adjusting

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When astronomers fret about the “missing satellites problem,” they’re not talking about spacecraft in Earth orbit. Their problem is much bigger: For decades, far fewer dwarf galaxies have been seen orbiting the Milky Way and other large galaxies than predicted by models of galaxy formation. But now, two groups of astronomers have found evidence for not just a sufficient number of satellite galaxies to satisfy the simulations—but too many.

“Maybe we’ve oversolved the problem,” says Marcel Pawlowski, an astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam and a co-author of one of the studies. The results suggest models of galaxy formation need adjusting, perhaps by tweaking the mysterious dark matter that drives them or by adding other factors, such as primordial magnetic fields.

Read More: ➡️ Science

 

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