Scientists have discovered a galaxy which contains 400 times less dark matter than the majority of other objects its size, making it extremely rare. This unique galaxy has defied all odds when it comes to what researchers know, or thought they knew, about this heavily mysterious type of matter.
According to Space.com, galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 (shortened by scientists to DF2) is managing to pave the way in regard to researchers proving that dark matter does, in fact, exist. Despite the fact that this galaxy contains little of the matter in question, the fact that it was still detectable is leaving scientists with high hopes that those who have been denying its existence will finally see the light, ironically speaking. It also provides insight into the formation of galaxies in general, with this playing a central role in the understanding of the universe on the whole.
Yale University researcher Pieter van Dokkum, also lead author of the paper in question, says that this recent galactic discovery has challenged every notion previously brought into speculation surrounding just how galaxies are born, and how in turn dark matter affects them. The key issue at hand is the ongoing battle between normal and dark matter.
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The shortage in dark matter in the recently discovered galaxy makes the ongoing battle even more complicated. The researcher in question has expressed his frustration over dark matter deniers repeatedly shooting down any kind of evidence that it does, in fact, exist in the sense that it aids in the creation of the universe, giving a statement in which he vented that dark matter is “apparently not a requirement for forming a galaxy.”
The definition of dark matter is that it is a specific type of matter which has a presence only discernible via the gravitational interactions it shares with baryonic, otherwise known as “normal” matter. This particular type of unseen matter reportedly makes up 80 percent of the universe’s mass and is also believed to be playing a key role in galactic evolution. This specific material, considered to be essentially what pieces the universe together, is one that has been studied by scientists for decades now; researchers are not a whole lot closer to solving the mystery behind it than they have been from the start, although these new findings are most certainly aiding them in their quest.