'Dwarf galaxies' a final frontier in shedding light on dark matter

The discovery of nine ‘dwarf galaxies,’ could help unlock the mystery surrounding the dark side of the universe.

Dwarf Galaxy 75000 light years from the Milky Way.

A dwarf galaxy 75000 light years from the Milky Way. Image by Hubble Esa / CC BY 2.0

The mini galaxies - which are a billion times dimmer than the Milky Way - were located thanks to the most powerful digital camera in the world.

This Hubble telescope allows scientists to pick up the faintest of glows of normal-sized galaxies as far away as eight billion light years from Earth. Gismodo reported that our newest neighbours exist near the Large and Small Magellanic Cloud which are the two largest and well-known of the dwarf galaxies. The discovery - the first in over a decade - is the largest collection of dwarf galaxies observed at any one time.

The London Independent reported that scientists at Cambridge University and researchers at the US Fermi Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois were working independently when these new galaxies were discovered.

Unlike the Milky Way which hosts hundreds of billions stars, dwarf galaxies contain about 5,000 stars. This is why they emit so little light, making them much more difficult to detect. These dwarf galaxies are considered the final frontier by astronomers as they test theories of dark matter. Vasily Belokurov of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University said finding them would help scientists determine “whether our cosmological picture makes sense.”

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