All of these oddities pale in comparison to the weirdest aspect of this galaxy: NGC 1052-DF2 is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter. Since there's some normal matter here, any version of modified gravity would have that matter produce dark-matter-like effects.
Since 1884 astronomers have invoked dark matter to explain why galaxies do not fly apart, given the speed at which they move within galaxies.
It's supposed to be everywhere.
Every galaxy that has been spotted contained a dark matter signature.
As the mass of dark matter is greater than the regular matter, it holds together the important gases while the gases are in the formation stage. These collaborations, such as LUX-ZEPLIN experiment in South Dakota, the XENON1T experiment in Italy, and the ADMX experiment in Washington, are trying to figure out what dark matter actually is made of, and they look to astronomical observations to guide their detector designs.
Unlike mirror-based devices, the mobile Dragonfly Telescope Array is composed entirely of nano-coated lenses, 48 in all. The bug-eyed telescope, called Dragonfly, peers into the sky from New Mexico.
NGC 1052-DF2 resides about 65 million light-years away in the NGC 1052 Group, which is dominated by a massive elliptical galaxy called NGC 1052. It's as big as the Milky Way but with only one percent of its stars. By measuring their motions, the astronomers could calculate the mass of material enclosed inside their orbits. But the dark matter floated in clumps. Instead, the clusters were moving at about 18,000 miles per hour.
That meant there was very little, if any, dark matter in this galaxy. The image also served as a confirmation that galaxies are interconnected through a cosmic web of dark matter.
That's because some scientists have been arguing in recent years that dark matter is not really there - that it's simply a change in the laws of gravity that we don't understand.
Dark matter has never been seen or measured directly because it does not emit light.
About a year ago, University of Waterloo researchers captured a composite image that strongly supports the existence of dark matter. Scientists can see right through it like a phantom floating over a bed in a haunted house.
Other outside scientists said the initial look at the calculations appear to be correct, though the results are confounding.
More work has to be done by the team which is conducting this research and after that, the actual occurrence of the galaxy and the non-occurrence of the dark matter will be proved.
It's unclear how this ultra-diffuse galaxy developed without dark matter.
The fact that astronomers are continually discovering unique objects is something that both van Dokkum and Abraham welcome. "It's sort of non-negotiable". "There's nothing else, just the stars".
The researchers involved are already working on some ideas about how to explain the missing dark matter and indeed how the galaxy might have formed and a starting point is to hunt for more dark-matter deficient galaxies. He proposed four different possibilities - all unproven.
A team of astronomers from the University of Toronto, Yale University, San Jose State University, University of California Observatories, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Max Planck Institute in Germany made the discovery.
Van Dokkum and his team plan to keep searching for similar galaxies-or just any other weird thing that challenges the current understanding of dark matter.