Galaxy Is Actually 99.99 Percent Dark Matter

By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer-Produce

Astronomers have discovered a galaxy as big as the Milky Way that consists almost entirely of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance that scientists have been trying to figure out for decades. Only one-hundredth of one percent of the galaxy is ordinary, visible matter like stars and planets. The other 99.99 percent of the stuff in this galaxy can't be seen.

No one really knows what dark matter is made of, but scientists believe it exists because they can see the effects of its gravity on other things in space. Whatever it may be, about 80 percent of the mass in the universe is dark matter.  Dark Matter Galaxy

This dark galaxy, named Dragonfly 44, was first detected in 2015, through the use of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array in New Mexico. With a combination of eight telephoto lenses and cameras, the array is designed to look at objects in space that aren't bright enough to see with other telescopes. [Dark Matter and Dark Energy: The Mystery Explained]

Dragonfly 44 is one of 47 ultradiffuse, or "fluffy" galaxies that Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University and colleagues found in the Coma Cluster, a group of at least 1,000 galaxies around 300 million light-years from Earth. This distance is easily close enough for a telescope to see; the Hubble Space Telescope can see billions of light-years away. But no one had noticed these galaxies hiding in the dark before. Dragonfly 44 was one of the largest and brightest galaxies they found. While it's as big as the Milky Way, it only emits about 1 percent as much light.

Van Dokkum and his team later realized that there was something very odd about Dragonfly 44: a galaxy that big couldn't possibly hold itself together with so few stars. There wouldn't be enough gravity, and the stars would drift apart. They suspected that dark matter was responsible for holding the galaxy together, and this particular galaxy seemed like it contained a ton of it, so they set out to determine exactly how much.

To investigate the amount of dark matter in Dragonfly 44, the team turned to one of the largest telescopes on Earth, located at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. They used a tool on the Keck II telescope called the Deep Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph (DEIMOS) to study the movement of stars in the galaxy.

“Motions of the stars tell you how much matter there is," van Dokkum said in a statement. “They don’t care what form the matter is, they just tell you that it’s there. In the Dragonfly galaxy stars move very fast. So there was a huge discrepancy: using Keck Observatory, we found many times more mass indicated by the motions of the stars, than there is mass in the stars themselves.”Dark Matter Galaxy 2

In other words, van Dokkum and his team found evidence of way more mass than they could actually see. Only 0.01 percent of the galaxy is made of ordinary, visible matter: stuff that is made of atoms containing protons, neutrons and electrons. But the other 99.99 percent of Dragonfly 44's mass is the ever-elusive dark matter. Of all the stuff in this Milky Way-size galaxy, we can see almost nothing.

"This has big implications for the study of dark matter," van Dokkum said. "It helps to have objects that are almost entirely made of dark matter so we don't get confused by stars and all the other things that galaxies have. The only such galaxies we had to study before were tiny. This finding opens up a whole new class of massive objects that we can study."

The team then went to the Gemini Observatory, also in Mauna Kea, to take new photos of Dragonfly 44. Using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrometer (GMOS), they created a color image of the galaxy. The dim, spheroidal galaxy looks a bit like a dirty smudge on a photo of deep space.

New images from GMOS also revealed a halo of star clusters similar to the halo around the Milky Way. Some researchers believe that dark matter could be responsible for light halos around galaxies. If true, this means that dark matter might not be perfectly dark at all.

“Ultimately what we really want to learn is what dark matter is,” van Dokkum said. “The race is on to find massive dark galaxies that are even closer to us than Dragonfly 44, so we can look for feeble signals that may reveal a dark matter particle.”

Scientists find evidence of catastrophic flood of 4,000 years ago

Scientists have made an eye-opening discovery in China that may point to a catastrophic biblical flood nearly 4,000 years ago.

Archaeologists uncovered and dated the bones of children found in the Yellow River Valley. The children are believed to have been trapped by a massive flood around 2000 B.C., around the time many Christians believe the biblical story of Noah and the Flood took place.

According to Chinese legend, a great flood deluged settlements, spilled over hills and mountains and even reached the heavens. It’s said that King Yu made the waters recede by constructing large ditches, and he founded China’s first dynasty, the Xia. However, no evidence of Yu or the Xia Dynasty has been uncovered.

Nonetheless, researchers have now published an Aug. 5 study in the journal Science indicating a massive flood submerged large swaths of China. The team, led by Wu Qianlong, believes an earthquake triggered a large landslide and dammed a waterway in 1920 B.C. The scientists believe 4 trillion gallons of water submerged the North China Plain. They used radiocarbon dating and soil samples to reach their conclusion.noahs-ark

But Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis told One News Now the new find is just the latest in a number of stories about a great flood event.

“Whether it’s the American Indians or the Fijians, Hawaiians, the Eskimos, Australian Aborigines … back to the Babylonians, there are flood legends in cultures all over the world,” Ham said.

In fact, the Chinese legend is quite similar to the others.

“And this particular flood legend from China – when you read it – it talks about it was basically a global flood, the way it was described. And there was a man in particular associated with that flood,” Ham explained.

However, scientists have not speculated that the Yellow River find may be evidence of the Flood of the Bible.

“There are thousands of feet of Flood sediment all over the globe – evidence of a catastrophic global Flood – and they’re not prepared to look at that because they’ve been indoctrinated to believe that that was laid down over millions of years,” Ham told the news site.

He argued that many in the scientific community are blinded to biblical truth.

“If the Bible’s true, it means God is Creator,” Ham said. “It means God owns us. It means we have to be in submission to him. It means he sets the rules. It means that abortion is wrong; it’s murder. It means that marriage is a man and a woman. It means that we need to receive the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.”

WND reported in 2010 when Chinese and Turkish explorers with Noah’s Ark Ministries International said they were “99.9 percent sure” they found the remnants of the legendary biblical Ark high up on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey.

The 15-member team claimed it recovered wooden specimens from a structure at an altitude of 13,000 feet and that carbon dating suggested it was 4,800 years old.

Several compartments, some with wooden beams, were said to be inside and could have been used to house animals, the group indicated.
“The search team has made the greatest discovery in history,” declared professor Oktay Belli, an archaeologist at Istanbul University. “This finding is very important and the greatest up to now.”

But at least two seasoned archaeologists who had made numerous expeditions to Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark threw cold water on the claim the Old Testament vessel had finally been discovered, saying it was a hoax involving wood hauled in from the Black Sea region.

“To make a long story short: This is all reported to be a fake,” said Randall Price, director of Judaic Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

“This is not Noah’s Ark,” adds Bob Cornuke of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute. “This is a fake. It’s a fraud and it’s of the highest caliber according to what I can assess from the evidence and talking to eyewitnesses and people from Turkey.