Scientists Discover Galaxy with Little to No Dark Matter
In a groundbreaking discovery, astronomers have found a galaxy that challenges current cosmological models by appearing to have little or no dark matter. Dark matter, which is believed to account for roughly 85% of the mass in the Universe, has so far eluded direct evidence of its existence.
The galaxy in question, known as NGC 1277, was the subject of research led by astronomers from renowned institutions, including the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias and the Universidad de La Laguna. By measuring the mass distribution of NGC 1277, the team determined that dark matter could only make up a mere 5% of its mass.
NGC 1277 is an intriguing relic galaxy thought to be a remnant of a massive galaxy that formed shortly after the Big Bang. The lack of dark matter in this galaxy raises several possible explanations, such as gravitational interaction with its surrounding galaxy cluster or the expulsion of dark matter during its formation.
To further investigate this peculiar galaxy, the team plans to utilize the WHT Enhanced Area Velocity Explorer instrument. This instrument will provide crucial data to confirm whether NGC 1277 truly lacks dark matter or if there are other factors at play.
What makes NGC 1277 even more captivating is the presence of a massive supermassive black hole, significantly larger than the one at the center of our own Milky Way. Scientists believe that studying this extraordinary black hole could offer insights into the relationship between black holes and dark matter.
Looking ahead, future missions like Euclid and the Nancy Grace Roman space telescopes hold the promise of shedding even more light on the elusive dark matter and the expansion of the universe. These next-generation missions are expected to uncover valuable insights that will revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos.
The discovery of a galaxy with little to no dark matter opens up a new avenue of exploration for astronomers. By challenging current cosmological models, NGC 1277 has paved the way for exciting discoveries and a deeper understanding of the mysteries that lie within our vast universe.