Dark Matter Halo

Scientists discover dark matter halo around acient dwarf galaxy.

Gracey Timm, Staff Writer

On February 22, 2021, scientists from Massachusetts discovered what seems like a dark matter halo surrounding an ancient dwarf galaxy named Tucana II. This halo consists stars that are far away from the galaxy, but seem to be affected by its gravitational pull.

 

This provided evidence to multiple groups of scientists that these ancient galaxies were previously much larger than the scientists had assumed. This is because Tucana II would’ve had to be much larger in the past in order for the halo to be so far away from it.

 

This also taught scientists that Tucana II could possibly one of the earliest galaxies. The halo could be proof of galactic cannibalism, which would explain the fact that the stars were spewed so far from the galaxy itself.

 

Tucana II is not the only dwarf galaxy outside of the milky way. There is proof of a handful of these galaxies are said to be artifacts left from some of the first galaxies. This would explain intergalactic cannibalism because the larger galaxies could supposedly swallow the smaller ones nearby them.

 

Almost every galaxy is said to have a halo of dark matter that holds it together, but this particular finding provided a significant amount of information to scientists about the size of the first galaxies and how these galaxies react to eachother.