Dec 27, 2023

Redefining Cosmic Norms: Dwarf Galaxies and the Dark Matter Enigma

Posted by in categories: cosmology, satellites

Recent Gaia satellite findings suggest that dwarf galaxies are transient and less influenced by dark matter than previously believed, challenging long-held assumptions about their nature and composition.

Commonly thought to be long-lived satellites of our galaxy, a new study now finds indications that most dwarf galaxies might in fact be destroyed soon after their entry into the Galactic halo. Thanks to the latest catalog from ESA’s Gaia satellite, an international team has now demonstrated that dwarf galaxies might be out of equilibrium. The study opens important questions on the standard cosmological model, particularly on the prevalence of dark matter in our nearest environment.

It has long been assumed that the dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way are ancient satellites orbiting our Galaxy for nearly 10 billion years. This required them to contain huge amounts of dark matter to protect them from the enormous tidal effects due to the gravitational pull of our galaxy. It was assumed that dark matter caused the large differences observed in the velocities of the stars within these dwarf galaxies.

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