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Aug 11

Segue 1 - The heart of darkness

Source: W.M. Keck Observatory


Segue 1 galaxy. We are not joking!
Image credit: Keck/Marla Geha

Astronomers using the 10-meter Keck II telescope in Hawaii have confirmed in a new paper that a troupe of about 1000 small, dim stars just outside the Milky Way comprise the darkest known galaxy, as well as something else: a treasure trove of ancient stars.

By “dark” astronomers are not referring to how much light the galaxy, called Segue 1, puts out, but the fact that the dwarf galaxy appears to have 3,400 times more mass than can be accounted for by its visible stars. In other words, Segue 1 is mostly an enormous cloud of dark matter decorated with a sprinkling of stars. (read more)

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