'Dark matter hurricane' is on a collision course with Earth

James Marshall
November 17, 2018

According to researchers the gap between other galactic dwarfs and ANT 2 is astonishing and it seems scientists and researchers have no proper information how these celestial bodies formed, if scientists can solve the Ant 2 puzzle and few more similar cases, they might be able to connect some missing dots in current physics about the formation of dwarf galaxies and how early Universe came into being.

The Ant 2 "ghost" galaxy is a large, dim dwarf galaxy that scientists have discovered near the edge of the Milky Way. Compared to the LMC, another satellite of the Milky Way, Ant 2 is 10,000 times fainter.

Don't panic.Yes, astronomers suggest that it's very likely that a "dark matter hurricane" will slam into the Earth as it speeds through the Milky Way - but it shouldn't cause any damage.

The dwarf galaxy identified as Antlia 2 evaded scientists until now because it hides behind the Milky Way's galactic disk, but that's not the only reason scientists are fascinated by "Ant 2". Across the galaxy reaches one third of the milky Way and can be compared with the Large Magellanic cloud.

The researchers behind the current study - from Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the US, Australia and Germany - searched the new Gaia data for Milky Way satellites by using RR Lyrae stars.

Gaia's precision measurements provided the researchers with data on metal-poor RR Lyrae stars, a type of small, ancient star that pulses regularly, changing its brightness every 12 hours or so, Astronomy Now reported.

The team wrote that all stars in the ghost galaxy were moving together and the galaxy always maintained a distance of around 130,000 light years distance from our own galaxy.

Using the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the team was able to measure the spectra of about 100 red giant stars.

Dr Matthew Walker, from Carnegie Mellon University, added: "We are wondering whether this galaxy is just the tip of an iceberg, and the Milky Way is surrounded by a large population of almost invisible dwarfs similar to this one".

The team is now busy searching for similar ghost dwarf galaxies in the universe.

"From these properties we conclude that Antlia-2 inhabits one of the least dense Dark Matter (DM) halos probed to date". The analysis also allowed the researchers to predict which possible signatures of the stream scientists ought to look for to find dark matter.

Andrey Kravtsov of University of Chicago in IL said that it's a very peculiar device and also stimulating as we are not sure of about the explication of all its properties. "We are wondering whether this galaxy is just the tip of an iceberg, and the Milky Way is surrounded by a large population of almost invisible dwarfs similar to this one". The entire research about Ant 2 may help researchers understand how the first structures in the early Universe were created.

The global team, including many astronomers from the University of Cambridge, discovered the faint galaxy when examining data from Gaia's telescope.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER