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Astronomers Discover The First Dwarf Galaxies In A Decade

Inside Blue Dwarf Galaxy

Astronomers at the University of Cambridge have, for the first time in a decade, found new dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way and they didn’t just find one or two, they found nine in total, which the Washington Post reports to be the most that have ever been found at one time.

The study, which was published on Tuesday in The Astrophysical Journal, indicated that small celestial objects orbiting a larger galaxy, the Milky Way, were found in the southern hemisphere near the Small and Large Magellanic Cloud.

The newly discovered objects are a billion times dimmer than the Milky Way and a million times smaller.

Of the newly discovered dwarfs, the closest is roughly 95,000 light years away and the furthest is over one-million light years away.

A press release published on the journal EurekAlert quoted the study’s lead author, Dr. Sergey Koposov with the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy, as having said that the discovery was “completely unexpected,” and that he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw what they had found.

The discovery of so many satellites in such a small area of the sky was completely unexpected […] I could not believe my eyes.

Alex Drlica-wagner of Fermilab was quoted in the release as having that the finding was “significant” in light of the “large dark matter content” contained within the satellite galaxies. Fermilab is one of the leaders of the Dark Energy Survey analysis.

Dwarf galaxies contain up to 99 percent dark matter and just a single percent of observable matter; they’re also the smallest galaxy structures observed.

Dark matter, which is invisible, makes up 25 percent of all matter and energy in our universe.

Dr. Vasily Belokurov referred to the dwarf satellites as “the final frontier for testing” dark matter theories.

Are you excited about the recently discovered batch of dark matter filled satellite galaxies?

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