HomeAstronomyStrange arrangement of Milky Way's groupie galaxies may undermine dark matter

Strange arrangement of Milky Way’s groupie galaxies may undermine dark matter

Scientists may have explained the mysterious distribution of small satellite galaxies around our Milky Way that has long puzzled astronomers, but not everyone is in agreement.

The Milky Way galaxy is surrounded by smaller dwarf galaxies. The conventional model of galaxy growth proposes that these small galaxies were trapped by a massive halo of dark matter, material that scientists can’t see but that appears to shape the universe. The dwarf galaxies then came together to form larger galaxies, and the dwarfs that we see today are the leftovers of that process, the theory goes. However, if this is the case then astronomers would expect the surviving dwarf galaxies to be scattered randomly around the Milky Way’s dark matter halo. Instead, they seem to be confined to a single plane that cuts through our galaxy at an angle, an oddity that threatens our understanding of the dark matter–dominated universe.

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