A galaxy far far away has baffled astronomers because it contains almost no dark matter, making it one of the strangest objects in the universe.

Normally the mysterious substance, whose nature is unknown but which exerts a strong gravitational influence, dominates galaxies including our own Milky Way.

Until now it was thought to be essential to galaxy formation. Blobs of dark matter were understood to act as galaxy “seeds”, gathering in the normal matter from which stars are made with their gravity.

With virtually no dark matter, scientists are at a loss to explain how the newly identified “ghost” galaxy was created.


Lead scientist Professor Pieter van Dokkum, from Yale University in the US, said: “There is no theory that predicted these types of galaxies. The galaxy is a complete mystery, as everything about it is strange. How you actually go about forming one of these things is completely unknown.”

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