The Dark Galaxy

Most of the matter in the universe appears to be missing, based on mathematical models that tell scientists there simply has to be more mass out there than we are seeing. Of this, less than two percent appears to be of the type we are all familiar with, the normal matter that makes up visible galaxies, stars, planets, and people.

The remaining and mysterious mass may come in two forms: dark matter and dark energy. Scientists recently discovered what appears to be an invisible galaxy. This galaxy has no visible stars, but radio telescopes have discovered the cold signature of hydrogen clouds. Scientists believe there has to be an even larger constituent of dark matter present (as the regular matter hydrogen is only a small percentage of the entire mass calculated from the object’s rapid rotation.) If this dark matter/cold hydrogen galaxy is confirmed, we could be one step closer to better understanding the composition of the universe.

A test episode entitled “Dark Matter, the Other White Meat – Show #-3 ½” of the upcoming “Slacker Astronomy” podcast describes the finding in amusing detail. Look for the podcast from real astronomers about real astronomy to officially debut in a couple weeks.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. A piece of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files.” Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona.