Astronomers find least luminous, most dark matter-dominated galaxy

September 19th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, September 19 (ANI): A team of astronomers has discovered the least luminous, most dark matter-dominated galaxy known to exist.

The galaxy, called Segue 1, is one of about two dozen small satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy.

The ultra-faint galaxy is a billion times less bright than the Milky Way, according to the teams results.

But despite its small number of visible stars, Segue 1 is nearly a thousand times more massive than it appears, meaning most of its mass must come from dark matter.

Im excited about this object, said Marla Geha, an assistant professor of astronomy at Yale and the papers lead author. Segue 1 is the most extreme example of a galaxy that contains only a few hundred stars, yet has a relatively large mass, she added.

Geha, along with her colleague Josh Simon at the California Institute of Technology, has observed about half of the dwarf satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way.

These objects are so faint and contain so few stars that at first they were thought to be globular clusters

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