Astronomers using a powerful telescope in Chile have observed what appears to be evidence of the existence of dark galaxies.
The European Southern Observatory says dark galaxies - an early phase of galaxy formation predicted by theory but unobserved until now - may have been spotted for the first time.
The observatory is an intergovernmental organisation supported by 15 countries, AFP reports.
It has been searching for dark galaxies on its Very Large Telescope array - a cluster of four telescopes that can view objects four billion times fainter than objects visible to the naked eye.
It is housed at Paranal in Chile's Atacama Desert.