The Milky Way may have less dark matter than astronomers thought

3 days ago 5
Space 11 January 2021

By Leah Crane

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Spinning stars have revealed that the Milky Way may have less dark matter than previously thought

ALFREDO RUIZ HUERGA / Alamy

Our galaxy may have slightly less dark matter than researchers previously estimated. Measurements of how pulsars – rapidly spinning stars that emit beams of light – move as they orbit the centre of the Milky Way have demonstrated that the dark matter density in the plane of the galaxy’s disc is lower than expected.

Most of our estimates of the galaxy’s dark matter abundance are based on the assumption that the Milky Way is in equilibrium, meaning its …

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