See-through galaxy captured by Hubble

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: The Hubble Space Telescope captured new images of a strange see-through galaxy named NGC 1052-DF2 that appears to lack dark matter. The galaxy, discovered in 2018, is about as wide as the Milky Way but contains only about 0.5% of the amount of stars. The galaxy has no visible center or structure and is so diffuse that more distant galaxies can be seen through it.

Recent observations carried out between December 2020 and March 2021 with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys indicate the galaxy contains only about 0.25% of the amount of dark matter that the astronomers had expected. Unlike in other galaxies, in the case NGC 1052-DF2, the visible stars seem to account for almost all of the galaxy’s matter, which can be calculated by observing the dynamic processes inside the galaxy.

Astronomers focused on the brightness of red giant stars in the galaxy to calculate its distance from Earth. Compared to the previous estimate, they now believe the galaxy is farther away — 72 million light years compared to the previously estimated 42 million light years. — Tereza Pultarova

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