Using the NASA/ESA Hubble space Telescope, scientists have discovered a new dwarf galaxy relatively near the Milky Way.
The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers who had been utilizing the Hubble to observe some of the oldest and faintest white dwarf stars within the globular cluster NGC 6752. Their aim was to measure the age of the cluster by using these stars, but they unexpectedly found a dwarf galaxy in our cosmic backyard.
The scientists observed a compact collection of stars in the outer edges of the area observed with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. They analyzed the brightness and temperatures of the stars and later found that they didn’t belong to the globular cluster, that is part of the Milky Way. Instead, they were actually about thirty million light-years away.
Dubbed Bedin one by the astronomers who discovered it, the dwarf galaxy has been described as modestly sized and elongated. Our new discovered cosmic neighbor is extremely faint and little, measuring only about 3,000 light-years at its greatest extent, that is just a fraction of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. due to these, scientists have determined that it’s a dwarf spheroidal galaxy, according to a report revealed in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.
Dwarf spheroidal galaxies all have tiny sizes, low-luminosities and lack dust and old stars. within the local group of Galaxies, there are about thirty six of the dwarf spheroidal type, and among them, twenty two are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way.
Bedin one has some features that make it stand out from other dwarf spheroidal galaxies, which aren’t uncommon. Bedin one is very isolated and is also one of the very few of its type that have a well-established distance. maybe the most isolated tiny dwarf galaxy discovered so far, the Bedin one is located thirty million light-years away from the Milky Way galaxy and 2 million light-years from NGC 6744, its nearest plausible galaxy host.
Scientists also gleaned from its stars’ properties that the galaxy might be nearly the same age as the universe itself at thirteen billion years recent.