FAST project opens the hunt for dark galaxies

(ORDO NEWS) — The Large-Scale Observation Campaign to Search for Neutral Hydrogen (HI) in the Local Universe is one of the largest initiatives under the Five-hundred Meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) project.

Equipped with a 19-beam receiver array capable of collecting signals from a large area, and therefore possessing ultra-high sensitivity, the FAST telescope is the most powerful instrument for studying the Universe in the HI line.

The FAST HI survey team, led by Dr. Zhu Ming of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been actively scanning the sky since the official start of scientific operations at the FAST observatory in January 2020.

The team released the first release of scientific data on June 19 at work , published in the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The catalog published as a result of this pilot study contains 544 HI bright galaxies. The most interesting result is that 16 of the sources observed by the FAST telescope have no optical match, which means that the telescope has found galaxies that are very faint in visible light.

Dr. Zhu said that these objects are of interest from the theory of galaxy formation and may represent a new class of objects containing dark matter and HI gas with only a relatively small number of stars, since star formation in such galaxies is difficult.

However, to confirm that the detected “dark galaxies” do not have a match in the optical range, it will be necessary to conduct additional observations using more powerful optical telescopes, the authors noted.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.