Hubble finds dwarf galaxy in our cosmic neighbourhood

Space										
		
																	Hubble just spotted a never-before-seen galaxy hiding in plain sight					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner			@Mike

After a careful analysis of their brightness and temperatures, the astronomers concluded that these stars did not belong to the cluster which is part of the Milky Way, but rather they are more distant.

The newly found galaxy is nicknamed Bedin 1 by the astronomers, is an average sized, elongated galaxy. In a celestial game of "Where's Waldo?", Hubble's sharp vision uncovered a never-before-seen dwarf galaxy located far behind the cluster's crowded stellar population. It's located 30 million light-years from the Milky Way and at least 2 million light-years away from the nearest large galaxy, NGC 6744. And all this activity can often mean complex histories of star formation, as old stars get ripped away and gas - the fuel of starbirth - gets pushed around, sparking new generations of stars. Fantastic footage from NASA shows the camera zooming in on the "tiny" galaxy, dubbed "Bedin 1", surrounded by thousands of dazzling stars. These faint stars were being studied so that scientists could better gauge how old the cluster was as a whole, but that's when they noticed what appeared to be a galaxy that had yet to be documented. The finding is reported in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are not uncommon: There are at least 36 in our Local Group of galaxies. Pictured: In this composite image provided by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team, the Barred Spiral Galaxy (NGC 6217) in the Ursa Minor constellation is pictured in Space. Bedin 1 is very isolated and is also one of the very few of its type that have a well-established distance.

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According to NASA, the Bedin 1 galaxy is both ancient and isolated, spanning approximately 3,000 light-years and clocking in around a thousand times dimmer than the Milky Way.

"Most of these galaxies were relatively small and faint, with masses similar to those of the satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way", NASA said. Because of its isolation - which resulted in hardly any interaction with other galaxies - and its age, Bedin 1 is the astronomical equivalent of a living fossil from the early Universe.

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