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Scientists are perplexed by a galaxy with no dark matter
via Wikimedia Commons

Scientists are perplexed by this galaxy with no dark matter

The Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the existence of a mysterious, ‘see-through’ galaxy

Exciting new discoveries in space – from a rare blinking star that is 100 times larger than the sun, or a ‘rogue’ planet found drifting throughout the Milky Way – seem to be being made constantly, but the latest findings from the universe have left scientists completely baffled.

Dark matter is missing from an unusual, ‘ghostly’-looking galaxy named “(UDG) NGC1052-DF2“ (or “DF2“ for short), challenging our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve.

The observations were made using the Hubble Space Telescope, which also found that ”DF2” was odd in other ways: it does not seem to have a central region, spiralling arms or disc that many other galaxies have. The clusters of stars in the galaxy are also unusual, as they are about twice as large as typical stellar groupings in other galaxies.

The research, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, also found that the galaxy was further away than previously imagined – it is now estimated to be about 72 million light-years from Earth, seven million light-years further than initially thought.

”It’s like you take a galaxy and you only have the stellar halo and globular clusters, and it somehow forgot to make everything else,” said Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University, who led the original study. ”There is no theory that predicted these types of galaxies. The galaxy is a complete mystery, as everything about it is strange. How you actually go about forming one of these things is completely unknown.”

Composed of particles that do not absorb, reflect or emit light, dark matter is considered to be an essential ingredient of galaxies, making up the bulk of the universe. Although it cannot be seen directly, its gravitational pull is thought to be like an invisible glue that holds galaxies together.

Researchers plan to continue studying how ’ultra-diffuse’ galaxies like ”DF2” are formed and what other unique properties they possess.

In other wild space news, scientists earlier this year proposed the existence of a particle that can act as a portal to a fifth dimension.