Large galaxies may steal dark matter from smaller galaxies they nearly collide with, new research suggests.
Scientists from the University of California, Irvine and Pomona College used computer models to simulate the evolution of a corner of the universe about 60 million light-years across. The new computer models, which weren’t designed to do so, created seven galaxies deprived of dark matter, a sight that had previously puzzled scientists. The strange simulations arose after near-collisions with massive neighboring galaxies, according to a statement from the University of California, Irvine.
Dark matter is the invisible stuff that makes up to 85% of all matter in the universe. Astronomers can’t study it directly, but believe it must exist to make sense of the behavior of stars, planets and galaxies. Therefore, in a universe full of dark matter, the new computer simulations help explain how some galaxies might lose this vital material.
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