Dragonfly 44, a faint galaxy discovered back in 2016, has quite the features. Astronomers concluded that the galaxy consists of 99.9 % dark matter, a shocking result.
But, as mysterious as the galaxy might be, new research offers the much-awaited answers.
Dragonfly 44, also known as DF44, is approximately 330 million light-years away in the Coma Cluster of galaxies. According to previous studies, DF44 is an ultra-diffuse galaxy, meaning that it’s less bright than our galaxy. Here is what you need to know.
Dragonfly 44’s Case Re-examined
Back in 2016, the astronomers realized a series of measurements and published a paper about the intriguing nature and features of Dragonfly 44.
A team of astronomers discovered that the mysterious galaxy has 1,000 times fewer stars than Milky Way.
However, the calculations showed that DF44 is almost as massive as our home galaxy. And given the low amount of stars, this implied that the strange galaxy consisted only of dark matter. What makes DF44 so special? Could it be the only one with such features?
New observations involving a globular cluster recount, using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, were performed. Astronomers applied some strict parameters for finding out which globular clusters are actually bound to DF44. Their new results were unexpected.
Astrophysicist Ignacio Trujillo of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias released a statement. He said: “[…] we found only 20 globular clusters, compared with the 80 previously claimed…”
New Results, New Theories
With the new amount of globular cluster discovered, Dragonfly 44’s dark matter corresponds with what astronomers expected for this type of galaxy. So, no special treatment here for the long-believed mysterious galaxy.
Such debates, though, are excellent for science. Whatever the astronomers might find will help them refine their techniques for observing and studying the cosmos. This recent debate is a clear net win! More insights and data will be soon published.
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