Researchers from Rochester Institute of technology created a buzz with their new findings. Sukanya Chakrabarti, a well-known name in her field, led a team of experts, analyzing near-infrared data compiled by European Southern observatory survey – VISTA.

The team was in awe when they found a cluster of pulsating stars in their youth approximately 300,000 light years away in far side of the Milky Way galaxy. These stars act as Cepheid Variables, for a layman they are the “standard candles” used by astronomers to measure distance. They are the most distant Cepheid Variables found on plane of Milky Way till the date and in accordance with the conclusions they provide, they might be the most significant one.

A lot of hard work was put in by the team for this discovery as they had to analyze billions of stars separated just by one degree, present in Norma Constellation. The latest technology of Vista should also be given credit as the Infrared rays gave access to areas behind space dust which was not possible with optical methods for a naked eye.

The stars discovered are not considered a part of our Milky Way galaxy as its disk ceases at 48000 light years. They seem to be associated with another dwarf galaxy, which may be hidden behind a huge space dust cloud. The presence of this galaxy was predicted earlier by Chakrabarti, in year 2009, on basis of analysis of the ripples in outer disk of Milky Way galaxy. Researchers believe that this dwarf galaxy is dominated by Dark Matter and hence is coined as Dark Galaxy or Galaxy ‘X’.

Dark Matter is believed to be an invisible particle that comprises about 23%of our universe and yet serves as one of the fundamental problems in astronomy as the exact nature of the Dark Matter has yet to see the day of light. A Dark Galaxy or Galaxy ’X’ mainly constitutes Dark Matter, earlier the only way present to detect a Dark Galaxy was its large gravitational pull.

Radiations emitted by these Cepheid variables not only confirm her theory but also proves the existence of a Dark Galaxy lurking just next door to ours. They also proof that the new way to find the Dark Matter dominated galaxies is not in vain and that our “Theory of Gravitation” needs no modification as it can be used to farthest ends of universe.

With discovery of Galaxy ‘X’, we can understand the very working of universe as well as it can serve as a key for discovery of various other dwarf galaxies surrounding the Milky Way.


With discovery of a cluster of young stars at the far edge of our Milky Way galaxy, Sukanya Chakrabarti of Rochester Institute of technology has created buzz as these stars might be our gateway to a Dark Galaxy commonly known as Galaxy ‘X’. The data analysis of ESO VISTA showed that there is a dwarf galaxy present next to our own galaxy and further study showed that this Galaxy is comprised of Dark Matter, which is a fundamental problem in the astronomy itself. If this discovery helps us to understand the nature of Dark Matter than we may know how the gears of our universe ticks.

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