In a Scientific American article about galaxies and dark matter halos, the author says :

These dark matter halos are believed to have acted as gravitational sinks for normal matter, seeding the subsequent formation of galaxies in the early universe. The telltale motions of the stars they shepherd betray their endurance to this day. Such halos still surround galaxies like our own, majestic-but-invisible sculptors of the modern cosmos.

Astronomers Grapple with JWST’s Discovery of Early Galaxies

I can't get the likeness between halos and sculptors?

  • About the author: Jonathan O'Callaghan is a freelance space and science journalist based in London. He writes regularly for a number of publications including The New York Times, Scientific American, New Scientist, Forbes and Wired. Dec 13, 2022 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


An introductory comma separates the two clauses. It could be re-written like this:

Such halos still surround galaxies like our own. They are majestic-but-invisible sculptors of the modern cosmos.

  • To the original poster, I would advise against using majestic-but-invisible. Those hyphens are atrocious and unneeded.
    – EllieK
    Dec 13, 2022 at 20:49
  • 1
    @EllieK-Don'tsupporther - it's a quote from a Scientific American article. Dec 13, 2022 at 21:26

You have misparsed this.

It says "such halos surround galaxies like our own". The phrase "like our own" modifies the word "galaxies". "Galaxies like our own" means "galaxies that are similar to the Milky Way".

The next part describes the halos: The halos are "majestic-but-invisible sculptors".

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