Darkest Galaxy Discovered

Segue 1 has just been discovered by scientists and is thought to be the darkest known of galaxies.  According to a report in The Daily Mail, it has been described as “a treasure trove of around 1,000 ancient, small and dim stars located just outside the Milky Way.”  It mainly comprises a huge cloud of dark matter, “decorated with a sprinkling of stars.”

The Segue 1 was originally found using a ten-meter Keck II telescope in Hawaii two years ago by Maria Geha, a researcher from Yale University and Joshua Simon from the Carnegie Institute, Washington.

Segue Stars

According to the Scientists, the Segue 1 has around 3,400 times more mass than its visible stars can account for. When it was first discovered it seemed that the stars were all moving in unison but were part of a diverse group (as opposed to being just a bunch of similar-type stars that had been pulled out of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy).  But some scientists working at Cambridge University, begged to differ.

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According to one of the group of researchers, Dr. Simon, they found that, “if the 1,000 or so stars were all there was to Segue 1, with just a smidgeon of dark matter, the stars would all move at about the same speed.”  But different information from the Keck, found the opposite to be the case.  It found that, “instead of moving at a steady 209km per second relative to the Milky Way, some of the Segue 1 stars are moving at rates as slow as 194km per second while others are going as fast as 224km per second.”  This means, according to Dr. Geha, that the Segue 1 has to contain much more mass “to accelerate the stars to those vehicles.”

This research has been published in the Astrophysical Journal.



James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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