Dark matter is MIA in this strange galaxy | Science News

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Dark matter is MIA in this strange galaxy

Given its size, the galaxy should have 300 times more dark matter than normal matter

By
1:00pm, March 28, 2018
galaxy NGC1052–DF2

DARK DEFICIENCY  Dark matter is unexpectedly absent from the galaxy NGC1052–DF2 (central ghostly blob), an ultradiffuse galaxy about 65 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cetus.

MISSING: Dark matter.

Mass: About 60 billion suns’ worth.

Location: The galaxy NGC1052–DF2, about 65 million light-years from Earth.

An unusual galaxy is surprisingly lacking in dark matter, scientists report March 28 in Nature.

In typical galaxies, normal matter is swamped by dark matter, an unidentified invisible substance that makes up most of the matter in the universe. The existence of dark matter explains the unexpectedly fast speeds at which stars swirl around galaxies, and how galaxies move within clusters.

But one galaxy, NGC1052–DF2, appears to have less dark matter than normal matter, or potentially none at all. Given its mass — it holds stars with about 200 million times the mass of the sun — it would be expected to have about 300 times as much dark matter as normal matter. That adds up to about 60 billion times the sun’s mass in missing dark matter.

Using observations from several

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