Research

A ‘dark matter hurricane’ is storming past Earth

A ‘dark matter hurricane’ is storming past Earth

The Large Magellanic Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy and Antlia 2 (from left to right).

In March, a separate team of astronomers found the galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 that is missing most of its dark matter that challenges currently-accepted theories of galaxy formation and seeks scientists to re-look at the nature of planet formation as well as the studies on the dark matter.

The Ant 2 "ghost" galaxy is a large, dim dwarf galaxy that scientists have discovered near the edge of the Milky Way. One such stellar stream, dubbed S1 and discovered past year by scientists examining data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, passes directly through the path of our sun.As our solar system speeds through the outer reaches of the Milky Way, it flies through dark matter at around 230 kilometres per second ( around 143 miles per second).

Solving the Ant 2 puzzle may help researchers understand how the first structures in the early Universe emerged and finding more such objects will show just how common such ghostly galaxies are, the astronomers said. Scientists think that streams like this one are the cosmic debris leftover when small galaxies stray too close to the Milky Way.

The ESA's Gaia mission has delivered the most extravagant star list to date, including high-precision estimations of nearly 1.7 billion stars and uncovering already inconspicuous points of interest of our home world.

They got lucky, actually, because in 2017, a stellar stream called S1 was discovered by the European Gaia satellite.

Adding heat to the outlandish apocalypse claims surfacing all around the internet, a team of astronomers has suggested that an incredibly fast dark matter hurricane will soon slam into the earth as it moves through the Milky Way.

Earlier this year, a second Gaia data dump made new details of stars in the Milky Way available to scientists worldwide.

More news: Wayne Rooney to captain England, wear No. 10 shirt against USMNT

"RR Lyrae had been found in every known dwarf satellite, so when we found a group of them sitting above the Galactic disk, we weren't totally surprised", said co-author Dr. Vasily Belokurov, researcher at Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.

Using the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the team was able to measure the spectra of about 100 red giant stars. When they observed these stars closely, they noticed a new object, a ghost galaxy.

While it is been speculated that some dwarfs could be inflated by vigorous star formation, the team is yet to figure out the exact process that made Ant 2 so extended.

Alternatively, the properties of the elusive "dark matter", thought to keep galaxies together, might need to be re-thought.

Sergey Koposov, another contributor to the study from Carnegie Mellon University, noted that Ant 2 appears to have have had most of its stars stolen or spiraled off by the powerful gravity of the Milky Way, which it orbits at a steady 130,000 light-year distance. However, this does not explain its impressive size.

"Compared to the rest of the 60 or so Milky Way satellites, Ant 2 is an oddball", said co-author Dr Matthew Walker, from Carnegie Mellon University.

According to a study published November 7, 2018, in the journal Physical Review D, the path of stellar stream S1 is right in line with our solar system, and all its dark matter is blowing through our corner of the Milky Way galaxy and passing over Earth - the dark matter hurricane.