The rotation of the Milky Way bar has slowed via nearly a quarter.
The Milky Way rotates at a whopping 130 miles (210 kilometers) per second, but a new study has found that dark matter has slowed the rotation of its bar by at least 24% since its formation nearly 14 billion years ago.
“Astrophysicists have long suspected that the spinning bar at the center of our galaxy is slowing down, but we have found the first evidence of this happening,” study co-author Ralph Schoenrich,
an astrophysicist at University College London, said in a statement. These new findings not only shed light on the rotation of the Milky Way but also provide an insight into the nature of one of the most elusive materials in the universe — dark matter. Related: How many stars are in the Milky Way?