Dark matter may have punched holes in the Milky Way

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New evidence suggests something strange is punching holes in the Milky Way, but scientists aren't sure what it is.

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researcher Ana Bonaca presented findings at the American Physical Society conference of a series of holes in GD-1, our galaxy's longest stellar stream.

According to Physics, stellar streams like GD-1 are remnants of star clusters or dwarf galaxies that have been ensnared by our galaxy, and stretched out while being drawn into its orbit.

Under normal conditions, the stream is a single line. But a high-resolution map of GD-1 created from Gaia observatory data revealed gaps in the stream, along with a spur — a thorn-like structure that had not been seen before.

Bonaca and her colleagues believe something large plunged through the stream, but couldn't map it to any of the luminous objects they observed.

They suspect the culprit to be a clump of dark matter, but need more evidence to support the theory, or to rule out other possibilities.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Holes in GD-1 stellar stream
2. Depiction of a stellar stream
3. High-resolution map shows gaps and spur in GD-1 stream
4. Large clump of dark matter may have caused the gaps in the stream

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researcher Ana Bonaca presented findings at the American Physical Society conference of a series of holes in GD-1, our galaxy's longest stellar stream."

"According to Physics, stellar streams like GD-1 are remnants of star clusters or dwarf galaxies that have been ensnared by our galaxy, and stretched out while being drawn into its orbit."

"Under normal conditions, the stream is a single line. But a high-resolution map of GD-1 created from Gaia observatory data revealed gaps in the stream, along with a spur — a thorn-like structure that had not been seen before."

"Bonaca and her colleagues believe something large plunged through the stream, but couldn't map it to any of the luminous objects they observed."

"They suspect the culprit to be a clump of dark matter, but need more evidence to support the theory, or to rule out other possibilities."

SOURCES:
Ana Bonaca / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
https://absuploads.aps.org/presentation/upload/APR19/Q04/APR19-001602/presentation15143_rzrcxcjdlgef.pdf