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That “99.9% dark matter” galaxy is actually perfectly normal



Cosmic puzzle

A few years ago, scientists discovered an extremely baffling galaxy that appeared to contain 10,000 times more dark matter than visible matter.

The galaxy, called Dragonfly 44, was thought to be some kind of extreme cosmic anomaly. But new research published last week in the magazine Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices suggests that Dragonfly 44 is actually quite normal and that the scientists who discovered it were simply wrong.

Out of balance

A typical galaxy could have 10 to 300 times more dark matter than visible matter, placing Dragonfly 44 far outside the norm. But it turns out that the scientists who discovered Dragonfly 44 may have largely overestimated the amount of dark matter present, according to the new study. The new study reduces the dark matter ratio to 300 times the amount of visible matter.

“We now know that the previous results were wrong and that DF44 is not extraordinary. Time to move on, “lead author Teymoor Saifollahi, a researcher at the Netherlands̵

7; Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, said in a press release.

Case closed

It is disappointing that although it still has a high percentage of dark matter, Dragonfly 44 is less of a cosmic mystery. However, this rearranges things from a scientific point of view.

“Our work shows that this galaxy is neither so singular nor unexpected,” co-author Michael Beasley, a researcher at Spain’s Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, said in the release. ‘This way galaxy formation models can explain it without the need for modification.’

READ MORE: The puzzle of the strange galaxy made up of 99.9% dark matter is solved [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias]

More on Dragonfly 44: Astronomers discover a galaxy made up of 99.99% dark matter


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