Satellite Data Helps Uncover Milky Way's 'Ghost' Galaxy

Milky Way collides with another galaxy

A 'Dark Matter Hurricane' Will Pass By Our Solar System, and Scientists Are Excited

However compared to other dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, Ant 2 is truly enormous - about a third of the size of the Milky Way itself.

Current theories of galaxy formation can not fully explain how a galaxy so large has so few stars.

It is 10,000 times fainter than any satellite in the milky way, it has been dubbed ANT 2 by the scientists.

An worldwide team of astronomers discovered the object-described by the University of Cambridge as "enormous" and "massive"-while sifting through data from the space observatory".

What makes Ant 2 even more unusual is how little light it gives out. As per the astronomers, it is also 10,000 times fainter, in terms of the brightness.

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The lead author of this study, Gabriel Torrealba, from the University of Cambridge, said that Ant 2 is a 'ghost galaxy.' He also added that "Objects as diffuse as Ant 2 have simply not been seen before".

There's a "dark matter hurricane" blowing through our corner of the Milky Way galaxy.

The ESA's Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of almost 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy. This type of galaxy has mostly old, low-mass and metal-poor stars. The reason behind Antlia 2 having too little mass is that the galaxy is "being taken apart by the Galactic tides of the Milky Way", astronomers believe. During starting months of this year, the second set of data obtained by Gaia was released to scientists from different countries, the new set of data made available information about details of Milky Way that were not available for study earlier.

They got lucky, actually, because in 2017, a stellar stream called S1 was discovered by the European Gaia satellite.

The team wrote that all stars in the ghost galaxy were moving together and the galaxy always maintained a distance of around 130,000 light years distance from our own galaxy.

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Dwarf galaxy stars are old and quite low in mass and metal.

"From these properties we conclude that Antlia-2 inhabits one of the least dense Dark Matter (DM) halos probed to date". The researchers also found that Ant 2 has an unexpectedly low mass for its large size, according to a statement. However, this does not explain its impressive size.

"Compared to the rest of the 60 or so Milky Way satellites, Ant 2 is an oddball", co-author Matthew Walker, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, revealed.

According to a study published November 7, 2018, in the journal Physical Review D, the path of stellar stream S1 is right in line with our solar system, and all its dark matter is blowing through our corner of the Milky Way galaxy and passing over Earth - the dark matter hurricane. "We are wondering whether this galaxy is just the tip of an iceberg, and the Milky Way is surrounded by a large population of almost invisible dwarfs similar to this one".

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