News of the WeekAstronomy

Dark Dwarf Galaxy Gets Even Darker

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Science  21 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5551, pp. 2457
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5551.2457b

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In the Draco dwarf spheroidal, a smudge of stars about 250,000 light-years away, astronomers have found the first compelling evidence that the dark matter around a dwarf galaxy sprawls deep into space, creating an extended halo similar to what is thought to shroud all bigger galaxies. Further studies of this cocoon, whose composition remains a mystery, promise to illuminate the early history of our own galaxy, which presumably acquired its heft by eating such dark-matter snacks.