Eric Bell, an associate professor in astronomy, and Colin Slater, an astronomy Ph.D. student, found Andromeda XXVIII and XXIX---that's 28 and 29. They did it by using a tested star-counting technique on the newest data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has mapped more than a third of the night sky. They also used follow-up data from the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii.
At 1.1 million and 600,000 light years from Andromeda, these are two of the furthest satellite galaxies ever detected. Invisible to the naked eye, the galaxies are 100,000 times fainter than Andromeda, and can barely be seen even with large telescopes.
The findings are published in the current Nov. 20 edition of Astrophysical Journal.
These astronomers set out looking for dwarf galaxies around Andromeda to help them understand how matter relates to dark matter, an invisible substance that doesn't emit or reflect light, but is believed to make up most of the universe's mass. Astronomers believe it exists because they can detect its gravitational effects on visible matter. With its gravity, dark matter is believed to be responsible for organizing visible matter into galaxies.
"These faint, dwarf, relatively nearby galaxies are a real battleground in trying to understand how dark matter acts at small scales," Bell said. "The stakes are high."
The prevailing hypothesis is that visible galaxies are all nestled in beds of dark matter, and each bed of dark matter has a galaxy in it. For a given volume of universe, the predictions match observations of large galaxies.
"But it seems to break down when we get to smaller galaxies," Slater said. "The models predict far more dark matter halos than we observe galaxies. We don't know if it's because we're not seeing all of the galaxies or because our predictions are wrong."
"The exciting answer," Bell said, "would be that there just aren't that many dark matter halos." Bell said. "This is part of the grand effort to test that paradigm."
The papers are titled, "Andromeda XXIX: A New Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy 200 kpc from Andromeda," and Andromeda XXVIII: A Dwarf Galaxy more than 350 kpc from Andromeda."
The research is funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
For more information:Eric Bell: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~ericbell/
Abstract of Andromeda XXIX: A New Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy 200 kpc from Andromeda: http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/742/1/L15
Nicole Casal Moore | Newswise Science News
UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.11.2018 | Information Technology
19.11.2018 | Life Sciences