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No visible stars: Astronomer accidentally discovers 'dark galaxy'

No visible stars: Astronomer accidentally discovers 'dark galaxy'

An astronomer from the Green Bank Observatory in the USA discovered a dark galaxy containing no visible stars by pure chance. According to them, the object with the name J0613+52 is a giant cloud consisting entirely of gas. It is possible that there are stars that we cannot detect, but even then the object will remain very unusual. The fact that stars are not forming or forming there to the extent otherwise observed may be because the gas is not dense enough, says Karen O'Neill. In addition, the galaxy is so far away from other galaxies that its gravity could trigger star formation.

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Dark galaxy found According to the report Purely by chance when 350 particularly faint galaxies were analyzed using radio telescopes like the one at Green Bank. When comparing data from two telescopes, O'Neill discovered a discrepancy and noticed that the Green Bank Observatory had accidentally skewed at one point. It is precisely at these incorrect coordinates that the galaxy was discovered, which appears to consist only of gas. The astronomer speculates that it may be the first known galaxy composed of primordial gas that formed during the Big Bang and has remained exactly the same since then.

When analyzing the object, the astronomer discovered not only the amount of gas present in the galaxy as we would expect from a spiral galaxy. Hence, I was able to determine the rotational motion of the gas in the measurement data. O'Neill is now calling for examining the object more intensely in the optical spectrum in order to find the stars after all. The galaxy itself can only be detected using radio telescopes such as those at Green Bank. Meanwhile, the astronomer expects additional dark galaxies could be found by scanning the sky with a highly sensitive instrument. She presented her discovery at the annual conference of the American Astronomical Society.

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