O Dark Matter, Dark Matter, Wherefore Art Thou Dark Matter?

Galaxy NGC1052 confuses astronomers. The galaxy floats about 65 million light years, 6.5*10⁷ light years, away from the Milky Way Galaxy.

The reason for the perplexation comes from the missing matter, the unaccounted for mass purported to come from dark matter, which, according to modern theories coming from standard Big Bang cosmology, should account for the missing mass in the universe.

The matter that comprises us only makes for a fraction of the total mass of the universe or the contents of the cosmos. Our known matter makes less than 5% of the universe. Dark matter accounts for about 27% of the universe with dark energy for approximately 68% of it.

An international team of astronomers found NGC1052 lacked dark matter, which in the standard cosmological theories of the formation of galaxies remains integral to their creation and maintenance.

In other words, to miss a crucial ingredient suggested as necessary to its formation, it baffles the experts. By analogy, you may think about a full-grown human organism without mitochondria in its cells, “How did this form into an adult organism at all?”

Similarly with the lack of dark matter, given current cosmological Big Bang models, “How did this galaxy form without dark matter present in it?”

The lead author for the paper published in Nature, Pieter van Dokkum, said, “When galaxies begin to form, the first thing that forms — we think — is a little object of dark matter… Dark matter is the scaffolding on which galaxies are built.”

The University of Toronto’s Dragonfly Telescope Array helped the astronomical researchers find ultra diffuse galaxies. Those taking large volumes of space, larger than average, while lacking much mass, much density compared to others, hence “diffuse.”

The galaxy was renamed NGC1052-DF2. With larger telescopes such as the W.M. Keck Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, there were subsequent observations.

Robert Abraham, Professor at the University of Toronto Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, asked, “How would you get stars to form in this organized way over such a large part of space, unless there’s enough gravity to pull all that stuff together?… The answer is, I have no idea. There must be more than one way to form galaxies.”

“You see something like this, and you do sort of scratch your head and you think there’s something fundamentally wrong in our picture,” Abraham said. “But for now, I think the evidence for dark matter greatly outweighs the evidence against it. But you do need to keep an open mind,” Abraham continued.

References

Boyle, R. (2018, March 28). Astronomers Boggle at Distant Galaxy Devoid of Dark Matter. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/astronomers-boggle-at-distant-galaxy-devoid-of-dark-matter/.

Chen, S. (2018, March 28). The Case of the Missing Dark Matter. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/the-case-of-the-missing-dark-matter/.

Conover, E. (2018, March 28). Dark matter is MIA in this strange galaxy. Retrieved from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dark-matter-mia-strange-galaxy.

Letzter, R. (2018, March 28). Astrophysicists Claim They Found a ‘Galaxy Without Dark Matter’. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/62151-galaxy-dark-matter-physics.html.

Mandelbaum, R.F. (2018, March 28). SPACE Holy Crap, This Galaxy Has No Dark Matter . Retrieved from https://gizmodo.com/holy-crap-this-galaxy-has-no-dark-matter-1824145359.

Mortillaro, N. (2018, March 28). Astronomers perplexed to find that distant galaxy has no dark matte. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/galaxy-no-dark-matter-1.4595345.