A galaxy without dark matter has questioned the role attributed to it in the formation and evolution of galactic structures, according to a study published in the British magazine Nature. The research, led by Pieter van Dokkum of the Department of Astronomy at Yale University in the United States, focused on the well-known galaxy NGC1052-DF2.
The scientists compared images obtained by the Dragonfly Telephoto Array (a telescope developed, among others, by Van Dokkun himself), data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS – an astronomy project that generates detailed maps of the Universe), and images from the space telescope Hubble.
The study emerged from the differences in contrast between the images of the Dragonfly and the data collected by the SDSS on the NGC1052-DF2 galaxy. Therefore, the researchers started to study how this galaxy formed.
No dark matter in NGC1052-DF2 galaxy
The researchers studied the mass of the galaxy from the movement of the ten stellar clusters within it. The obtained result would show that it does not have, apparently, any type of dark matter and, therefore, that this type of substance does not always appear next to the baryonic matter.
The galaxy NGC1052-DF2 would be composed only of ordinary or visible matter and would not have needed dark matter for its configuration, which calls into question the paradigm about it and what was thought about the dark matter’s role in the evolution of the Universe, until now.
Dark matter is predominant in the whole Universe and only in the Milky Way is present by 30 times more than the visible matter; In turn, the dark matter has been assigned with a fundamental role in the formation of galactic structures.
Paradoxically, the existence of NGC1052-DF2 would serve to eliminate theories that are alternatives to dark matter, such as those that attempt to modify Newton’s laws.