A new study pre-published on the arXiv servers suggests that the Milky Way is missing almost half of its matter. Researchers used the Deep Synoptic Array (DSA), a set of 110 radio dishes in California, to measure the amount of matter in the Milky Way’s halo.
The DSA was designed specifically to spot fast radio bursts (FRBs), similar to the bursts we’ve seen coming from deep space. The DSA then uses those bursts to trace them back to their home galaxies. This has the nice side effect that the DSA can calculate the mass of the matter in the galaxies between the detector and their home galaxy, just like they did with the Milky Way.
To do this they measure the amount of matter that has absorbs FRBs radiation. Think of it like shining a flashlight through the fog to determine just how thick it is. By doing this, the researchers were able to detect that the Milky Way’s matter stores are much lower than we expected them to be. The Milky Way actually has 40% less matter than the rest of the universe.
This is a surprise discovery by the researchers, as we had believed that galaxies such as the Milky Way retained the same amount of baryonic matter. However, the Milky Way’s halo is only made up of about 9. 6 percent baryonic matter compared to other parts of our universe.
It’s not clear why the Milky Way contains less matter than other parts of our universe. However, it continues to show how different our galaxy is from others. It’s possible that we will discover more about the galaxy and the universe as we continue to explore the mystery of the beginning universe.
This is not the only discovery that we’ve made recently about the Milky Way. Researchers also discovered the ancient center of the Milky Way ..
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