They discover a galaxy that seems empty of it, and scientists do not explain it


Dark matter is a paradox in itself. It’s still unknown, and we can’t see it directly because it doesn’t interact with light, and because we don’t know, we don’t yet know for sure what it is. However, it has become so important to our models and our understanding of the universe that its absence is also a mystery. And that’s exactly what the researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and his colleagues has had in mind since 2019.

Two years ago, Pavel Mancera Peña and his colleagues published a study that suggested both La Galaxy AGC 114905, which lies about 250 million light-years away, about half a dozen more, contains minute amounts of dark matter. Their analysis focused on highly diffuse galaxies, with little visible matter, and what they suggested raised suspicions: precisely because of their properties, they must contain a great deal of mysterious matter.

40 hours of monitoring to confirm it

Now, in a new article that has already been accepted for publication in the magazine Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical SocietyThe researchers went one step further and confirmed their theories two years ago: On the surface, at least, AGC 114905 appears to be devoid of dark matter. The measurements taken are explained simply by the gravity of the visible material. How to collect Science Daily, although detailed observations were made for 40 hours using the latest telescopes The conclusion is exactly the same.

About the size of the Milky Way, the distant AGC 114905 is part of a group Dwarf galaxies are very widespread, a characteristic they owe to their radiance. Experts estimate that it contains about a thousand times fewer stars than our “home”. It is precisely this property that made astronomers expect a large amount of dark matter. However, after collecting data on gas distribution and rotation for 40 hours between July and October 2020 Using the New Mexico Very Large Array (VLA) They found that their observations could be explained without putting dark matter into the equation.

“The problem remains Theory predicts that there should be dark matter in the galaxy AGC 114905, but our observations say no. In fact, the difference between theory and observation is increasing”, explains Pavel Mancera Peña Data collected by Science Daily. There would be several alternative and more appropriate interpretations of the current law, of course, such as its connection to its angle of inclination and its effect on observation from Earth or the influence of another nearby galaxy. The researchers explored the different options, but they still didn’t fit the data they collected at AGC 114905.

Waiting to fit the puzzle with our very limited understanding of dark matter, researchers set out to study a second, super-diffused dwarf galaxy.

picture | NASA/CXC/UMass/Qi Di Wang; Radio: NRF / SARAO / MeerKAT

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