We have developed a new kind of telescope, called Dragonfly, to detect the light from extremely faint galaxies in the night sky. Dragonfly consists of 48 state of the art telephoto lenses whose light is combined into a single image through a combination of IoT protocols and cloud-based image processing. We discovered a previously unknown class of “ultra diffuse” galaxies using Dragonfly. The galaxies are as large as our own Milky Way but have 100x - 1000x less stars. Even more surprising is what we can’t see: the dark matter content of these galaxies shows huge variation, as we found a galaxy that is nearly 100% dark matter and another that seems to have no dark matter at all. These results have implications for the nature of dark matter and for our ideas about galaxy formation.
The Dark Matter Discussion Group (DMDG) meetings are open to everyone interested in understanding dark matter, and we hope that graduate students, post-docs and faculty will all attend with enthusiasm.