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Published: 15 July 2015

How to weigh a galaxy - backwards in time

The Astrophysics research group’s Professor Justin Read establishes new method for weighing dwarf galaxies backwards in time.

In a study published in Nature Communications, Dr Ugur Ural (Potsdam) and Prof. Justin Read (University of Surrey), with collaborators from Leicester and Carnegie Mellon, have developed a new technique for weighing tiny “dwarf” galaxies both today and, for the first time, backwards in time. We have applied the method to the `Carina' dwarf spheroidal, finding that it is surprisingly light and always was.

Such a low mass suggests that there must be a large population of ghostly massive dwarf galaxies, as massive as their visible counterparts, orbiting the Milky Way.

Find out more about the University's Astrophysics Research Group or read the full text of the study here.

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