Coma Cluster’s dead galaxies packed with 100 times more dark matter

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Published: July 20, 2015 11:58:19 AM

An Australian study has demonstrated that Galaxies in a cluster roughly 300 million light years from Earth could contain as much as 100 times more dark matter than visible matter.

An Australian study has demonstrated that Galaxies in a cluster roughly 300 million light years from Earth could contain as much as 100 times more dark matter than visible matter.

The researchers from the University of Western Australia asserted that galaxies that have fallen into the Coma Cluster, one of the largest structures in the Universe in which thousands of galaxies are bound together by gravity.

Dark matter cannot be seen directly but the mysterious substance is thought to make up about 84 per cent of the matter in the Universe.

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research PhD student Cameron Yozin, who led the study, says the paper demonstrates for the first time that some galaxies that have fallen into the cluster could plausibly have as much as 100 times more dark matter than visible matter.

Yozin said that the galaxies he studied in the Coma Cluster are about the same size as our own Milky Way but contain only one per cent of the stars.

He continued that the galaxies appear to have stopped making new stars when they first fell into the cluster between seven and ten billion years ago and have been dead ever since, leading astrophysicists to label them “failed” galaxies.

Yozin was able to create computer simulations to model how the galaxies evolved into what we can see today.

The study was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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