Hidden Galaxies Found

Dark matter has been some thing that astrophysicists have postulated about for some time – matter we can not see but must exist for items to make sense in the universe. A new technique has been demonstrated in a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that indicates that completely starless galaxies conclusively exist, even if we don’t know the precise shape and size of them.

These galaxies are composed of cosmic dust and dark matter in proportions that don’t rather meet the specifications for star formation.

The method requires examining the illumination of hydrogen in these “dark galaxies”. The hydrogen glows in the intense light released from a nearby quasar – a black-hole powered object. The glow released is a certain UV frequency that, when stretched out from the voyage to Earth, becomes visible to us at blue-violet light.

As the team filtered down their readings to the particular frequency needed, they at some point narrowed the findings to the 12 brightest galaxies – the “dark dozen” – around a especially luminous quasar, HE0109-3518, nicknamed “the phone quantity”. Although 12 may not look like a huge number in astronomical terms, it is the quite very first evidence of confirmed dark galaxies, which is pretty special.

“The initial study was genuinely just discovery study, to demonstrate that the technique works,” says Sebastiano Cantalupo, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was lead author of the paper.

The observations were performed at the Really Large Telescope (VLT) (a very inventive name dontchya think?) in Chile, as the quasar is in a southern hemisphere constellation. Additional observations are scheduled for the fall to totally examine the dark dozen, and the team is hoping to conduct a search from the Keck telescope in Hawaii for northern hemisphere dark galaxies.

[through Time | Image Source: Argonne National Laboratory (CC)]

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