Astronomers have recently discovered a dark galaxy cluster known as Coma Cluster, and found no less than 854 “ultra dark” galaxies hidden inside it. They are thought to be filed with dark matter, a mysterious substance with an unknown composition, that makes up 80 percent (80%) of all matter found in the universe.
Some space scientists believe that when dark matter particles and antiparticles crash into each other, they create telltale gamma rays.
The astronomers are awe-inspired by the discovery as no one ever expected to find them in such a large number. They were already surprised and amazed by the unexpected discovery of a cluster of 47 dark galaxies last year, and this year’s discovery beats that by more than 800 such galaxies.
What’s more, the data collected so far seems to hint that galaxy clusters act as a key environment that aids the evolution of dark galaxies, and Jin Koda, principal investigator and astrophysicist associate professor from Stony Brook University (New York), firmly believes that researchers could find even more of them if they look at fainter galaxies embedded within large amounts of dark matter.
Professor Koda also gave a statement saying that “The finding suggests that these galaxies appear very diffuse and are very likely enveloped by something very massive. We believe that something invisible must be protecting the fragile star systems of these galaxies, something with a high mass. That ‘something’ is very likely an excessive amount of dark matter”.
The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, the June edition, was conducted using the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, and reveals that the newly discovered ultra dark galaxies are about the size of the Milky Way, however they only have 1 / 1.000 of the stars found inside our galaxy.
The stars inside dark galaxies are though to be subjected to quick disruptions caused by the strong tidal force exhibited by the surrounding dark matter. Each individual galaxy only has one percent (1%) or less visible matter, and 99 percent (99%) dark matter.
Koda and his team made the discovery by looking for diffused or extended galaxies within the Coma Cluster, located roughly 300 million light years away, inside the Coma Berenices constellation.
They concluded that a population of galaxies has been living for a very long time inside this cluster, and that they are now dark due to losing most of the gas that they needed to create stars. One working theory is that supernova explosions and various gravitational encounters with neighboring galaxies are responsible for the loss due to creating violent pressures inside the Coma Cluster.
Professor Koda has every intention of moving the research further, and hopes that future spectroscopic observations will unveil the star formation history in these ultra dark galaxies, which in turn might also clue in astronauts into how galaxies are being formed.
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