November 28, 2023

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Scientists have discovered what could be the largest “near-dark” galaxy reported to date

Scientists have discovered what could be the largest “near-dark” galaxy reported to date

Image: Astronomy and Astrophysics

An international group of scientists stumbled upon a new, almost “completely dark” galaxy while conducting a visual inspection of a survey field on the celestial equator of the southern galactic envelope. “Legacy Stripe 82” project,

newly discovered galaxy, It’s called “the cloud.”“, has a very small surface brightness (i.e. the brightness of a star or celestial body observed from Earth), and is similar in size to Small Magellanic CloudIt is a dwarf galaxy close to the Milky Way Galaxy. (Read also: The discovery of a huge statue of a winged bull dating back more than 2,700 years in Iraq)

Galaxies with a central surface brightness of less than 26 mg/arc sec are generally known as “Almost dark galaxies”, because they have no visual counterpart and do not typically appear in visual catalogs of large-scale studies. However, this can be observed through deep image analysis.

In this sense, images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a major multispectral image and redshift survey that uses a 2.5-meter wide-angle optical telescope housed in it, are analysed. Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico (USA) allowed this discovery.

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According to these results, the researchers, led by Mireya Montes from the University of La Laguna (Spain), concluded that this galaxy is the largest and most widespread of its class discovered so far. It is estimated that Nobby exists 350 million light years Its stellar mass is about 390 million solar masses (a measurement equivalent to the mass of the Sun). Moreover, it was calculated, according to the study, that the galaxy has 10,000 million years. (Recommended note: This would be the largest marsupial ever discovered)

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The analysis found that its radius is three times larger than its diameter Ultradiffuse galaxies (UDG), the most common formation With this size of stellar mass. In general, UDG galaxies are very sparse galaxies with sizes similar to those of the Milky Way, but with only The number of stars is 1% larger than our galaxy.

Due to these specific characteristics, scientists suggest that this particular formation may be related to the origin of the galaxy or its evolution over time due to the conditions of its environment, the hypothesis being that it was influenced by its halo. of dark matter, as it achieves its theoretical effects in the galaxy.

“In the absence of laboratory detection of the particles that make up dark matter, the hope of characterizing its nature lies in the analysis of astrophysical objects. In particular, galaxies with very low surface brightness (also called ‘near-dark’) offer the interesting possibility of constraining the physical properties Microphysics of dark matter. The study concludes.

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