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Post by Rogue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:58 am

Dark matter ‘galaxy’ may be holding four stars together beyond the edge of the Milky Way
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 1:11PM

IT’s been there all along. We just didn’t know it. Astronomers believe an entire dark matter galaxy is lurking at the edge of our own.

The problem with dark matter is that it’s … dark.

Astrophysicists know it must be there: Calculations measuring the size of the universe and the influences of gravity don’t add up without it.

But where?

Dark Matter Galaxy 126450-d4ec7eea-b7c3-11e4-b41b-d516c533d6a5

It’s a question of growing importance in observatories and laboratories around the world.

Boiled down, the idea is simple. We can see “ripples” in the hydrogen clouds which swirl about in the depths of space outside the Milky Way.

Like a disturbance in a pond, these “ripples” need something to cause them. Some kind of “pebble”.

But the ripples we see don’t all come paired with a visible source.
They have been caused by something unseen.

MIND BENDING: Do we live on the edge of a four-dimensional black hole?

“It’s called dark matter because it doesn’t shine, but it also doesn’t block light either making it the ultimate Easter egg hunt looking for blobs of dark matter around our galaxy that are completely invisible,” Swinburne University astrophysicist Dr Alan Duffy says.

The idea that these strange disturbances in nearby hydrogen clouds was a sign of a nearby dark matter “galaxy” was pitched as far back as 2009.

Now the idea is gaining momentum, with new evidence published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Something as big as a galaxy should be detectable.
Even if it is invisible.

Simulations have predicted a region where such a cluster of dark matter should be, so the research team began a search …

What they found were four tightly clustered stars.
Four stars do not a galaxy make.

But there was something odd about their behaviour.

First, they were a type of star called a Cepheid variable: A star which varies in brightness as its outer atmosphere expands and contracts, like the lid on a boiling pot.
Second, it was insanely unlikely that four stars would be clustered so tightly together some 294,000 light years away — the middle of nowhere in intergalactic terms.

EERIE ALIGNMENT: ‘Patterns’ of black holes point to dark matter

“One issue at peering at distant parts of our galaxy is that dust and gas can block the view making the stars appear redder and fainter than they really are making us think that they are further away than in reality,” Dr Duffy says. “Yet these stars seem to be in a patch of sky that’s no dustier than usual making us confident that they really are far away in a separate object, and not just an extension of the Milky Way’s disk.”

For such stars to be together — and remain together — requires the hefty influence of a lot of nearby “stuff”.

Stuff that produces blobs of gravity which, if it isn’t caused by visible stars, must come from something else.

“You would never get them clumped together like that, it’s incredibly unlikely,” Dr Duffy says.

“That’s your clue — tantalising evidence of something else out there. The chances that these four rare Cepheid stars happen to be so close together is ridiculously small — 3.5 million to one against.“

“The stars are like flagposts letting us know that there is something bigger around them, holding the stars close together with the force of its gravity. The dark matter.”

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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:06 am


Monk (in hiding)

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Post by Rockhopper on Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:13 pm

Yep it's possible Roggie. The whole concept of "Dark Matter" came about when the Astrophysicists noticed that over  90% of the matter in the Universe is missing.

The possibility that there are DM galaxies out there is real.


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Post by Lenzabi on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:48 am

Well, there had to be glue to bind it all/.

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