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Space & Astronomy

Mystery galaxy seems to have no dark matter whatsoever

By T.K. Randall
December 8, 2021 · Comment icon 4 comments

Where is all the dark matter ? Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Javier Roman / Pavel Mancera Pina
The fascinating discovery could turn what we know about galaxy formation on its head.
The precise nature of dark matter and dark energy, which are thought to account for up to 96% of the observable universe, remains one of the most important unsolved mysteries in modern physics.

Despite concerted efforts, astronomers have been unable to observe dark matter directly because it does not absorb, emit or reflect any electromagnetic radiation, thus making it impossible to see.

It is, however, believed to play a vital role in the formation of new galaxies.

Now though, the discovery of a galaxy that appears to completely devoid of dark matter has called even this into doubt, suggesting that we know even less about galaxy formation than we realized.
The galaxy in question, which is known as AGC 114905, is an ultradiffuse galaxy (UDG) - meaning that while it is as large as the Milky Way, it is much fainter and has far fewer stars.

Situated 250 million light years away, it is the first galaxy ever observed to have no dark matter at all.

Exactly why this should be, as well as what this means for our understanding of how galaxies form, currently remains unclear.

"In principle, galaxies like this shouldn't exist," said study lead author and astronomer Pavel Mancera Pina from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

"We cannot effectively explain them with any existing theory."

Source: Live Science | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DreadLordAvatar 2 years ago
Perhaps this galaxy lacks a blackhole.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
You bring-up a possible point.  
Comment icon #3 Posted by fred_mc 2 years ago
Hmmm, sounds familiar. I've read about one or two galaxies lacking dark matter in the last years. However, I remember that they were wrong about at least one of them, that it turned out that it has dark matter after all.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Poncho_Peanatus 2 years ago
its a fascinating idea that dark matter needs a blackhole to exist. Its like dark matter is normal matter chewed digested and expelled. The matter has been so mistreaded that has lost the proprieties we normally attribute to matter and perhaps gained new ones. Dark matter = black hole feces. Not saying its like this, but the idea is nice and a bit funny.

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