Dark matter galaxy discovered
Wednesday, February 23, 2005Astronomers claim they have discovered the first galaxy made entirely of dark matter.
While it contains mass that rotates like a normal galaxy, it contains no stars. Rather, it appears to entirely comprise dark matter, mysterious matter that differs greatly from the normal (baryonic) matter with which we're familiar.
In the cluster of galaxies known as Virgo, an international team from the UK, France, Italy and Australia led by researchers at Cardiff University found hydrogen atoms amounting to 100 million times the mass of the Sun.
They have named the find VIRGOHI21.
The find is considered incredibly important because cosmological models suggest that dark matter is five times more abundant than baryonic matter in the Universe yet is difficult to study from Earth because of the planet's proximity to the Sun.
"The Universe has all sorts of secrets still to reveal to us, but this shows that we are beginning to understand how to look at it in the right way," says Jon Davies of Cardiff. "It's a really exciting discovery."
- "Seeing the invisible - first dark galaxy discovered?" — , February 23, 2005
- Lucy Sherriff. "Astronomers spot first ever dark galaxy" — , Wednesday 23rd February 2005