An international group of astronomers led by scientists from the University of New South Wales revealed the secret of the galaxy NGC1052-DF4.
The discovery of this object may disprove the widely accepted theory of galaxy formation, but a new study has explained this anomaly. The researchers’ article is published in The Astrophysical Journal.
According to the scientists, dark matter was originally present in NGC1052-DF4, but then was “stolen” together with the stars of the neighboring massive galaxy NGC1035. This phenomenon is called tidal destruction. In this case, the dark matter “leaves” the galaxy long before gravity begins to have a visible effect on stars.
In this case, if the researchers’ assumption is confirmed, NGC1052 may completely collapse in a relatively short time.
The astronomers have studied the galaxy devoid of dark matter with the help of powerful telescopes IAC80 and photographs with a long shutter speed of up to 60 hours. The scientists found that although the galaxy seems symmetrical, poorly discernable stars have already begun to leave the galaxy, indicating an external impact.
Dark matter is a hypothetical substance that solves the problem of hidden mass in the universe. The hidden mass affects the motion of stars in galaxies, but it does not correspond to the total mass of visible objects and is not explained by the existence of black holes and neutron stars.
Dark matter is recorded by indirect methods, including the search for gravitational lenses, when light from distant objects is distorted by invisible massive bodies.
It is noted that dark matter consists of elementary particles such as vimps or axions that have not yet been discovered.