Scientists have discovered a new dwarf galaxy that is orbiting around the Milky Way and emitting gamma rays. Scientists are hoping that the gamma ray emission from the dwarf galaxies will help in understanding more about the dark matter.
Scientists are in agreement that a major chunk of the Universe is made of dark matter. Astronomers are aware about the presence of the invisible dark matter but very less is known about them. The gravitational pull of the dark matter holds together the galaxies, which make dark matter very important to the Universe. The particles within dark matter do not absorb, emit or reflect light, which makes it difficult for scientists to find it. More information about dark matter can help scientists to unravel many mysteries of the universe.
However, the latest found gamma rays emitting dwarf galaxy may give scientists some clues about dark matter. Scientists suggest that it is not normal for dwarf galaxies to emit large quantities of gamma rays.
The dwarf galaxy is called Reticulum 2 and has been recently discovered via the data obtained by the Dark Energy Survey. Scientists suggest that Reticulum 2 is supposed to be one of the closest dwarf galaxies ever detected. The gamma rays that are being emitted from Reticulum 2's direction is quite high than what is expected from a normal background.
"In the search for dark matter, gamma rays from a dwarf galaxy have long been considered a very strong signature," says Savvas Koushiappas, an assistant professor of physics at the Brown University. "It seems like we may now be detecting such a thing for the first time."
Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of physics at the Carnegie Mellon University, suggests that the detection of gravitation pull of the dark matters reflects very less about the behavior of the particles found in the dark matter.
"But now we may have a non-gravitational detection that shows dark matter behaving like a particle, which is a holy grail of sorts," says Walker.
Walker suggests that hidden sources in the dwarf galaxy may be emitting gamma rays; however, scientists are optimistic that there is more to find from Reticulum 2.
The scientists suggest that even though the preliminary results of their study is exciting, a lot of work is still needed to understand more about dark matter. The latest discovery of the dwarf galaxy is a step closer to understand the origin of dark matter.
Photo: Hubble ESA | Flickr