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Tim Kendall's Extreme Astrophysics

An oddball galaxy devoid of dark matter

27 Jan 2019, 13:17 UTC
An oddball galaxy devoid of dark matter
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NASA: This large, fuzzy-looking galaxy is so diffuse that astronomers call it a “see-through” galaxy because they can clearly see distant galaxies behind it. The ghostly object, catalogued as NGC 1052-DF2, doesn’t have a noticeable central region, or even spiral arms and a disk, typical features of a spiral galaxy. But it doesn’t look like an elliptical galaxy, either. Even its globular clusters are oddballs: they are twice as large as typical stellar groupings seen in other galaxies. All of these oddities pale in comparison to the weirdest aspect of this galaxy: NGC 1052-DF2 is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter. Credits: NASA, ESA, and P. van Dokkum (Yale University).

This story from early last year has been recently treated by Scientific American and a paper by P. van Dokkum et al. is available at the Nature website.

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