Hubble spots dwarf galaxy

Zooming in on NGC 6752 and Bedin 1

Hubble fortuitously discovers a new galaxy in the cosmic neighbourhood

The small galaxy, described as a "living fossil", was found in the globular cluster NGC 6752 using the Hubble Space Telescope.

The collection of stars at the edge of the area was analyzed and deemed that they were not part of the cluster contained in the Milky Way, but a small galaxy which is nearly 30 million light-years away.

The newly discovered star system, called Bedin 1, in recognition of the scientist's emerging part in its invention, looks weeny and weak even under the powerful Hubble magnification.

The medium-sized, elongated galaxy measures approximately 3,000 light years at its widest, barely 1/30th of the diameter of the Milky Way.

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"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", NASA said on Thursday.

The different wavelength observations allow viewers to examine the galaxy's structure, discerning between older and younger stars, and spot features, such black holes and nebulas.

Reference: These results will be published online January 31, 2019, in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters [https://academic.oup.com/mnrasl]. They're also fairly common in our Local Group of galaxies - we know of 36 galaxies of this type and 22 of them are in orbit around our galaxy! Scientists were studying the globular cluster NGC 6752 and made an 'unexpected discovery, ' writes the press release on Hubble Space Telescope. The researchers suspect that Bedin-1 is the most isolated galaxy ever discovered. NASA likens it to the "astronomical equivalent of a living fossil from the early universe". Perhaps the most isolated small dwarf galaxy discovered so far, the Bedin 1 is located 30 million light-years away from the Milky Way galaxy and two million light-years from NGC 6744, its nearest plausible galaxy host. Future telescopes with a large field of view, such as the WFIRST telescope, will have cameras covering a much larger area of the sky and may find many more of these galactic neighbours.

Today, September 9, 2009, NASA released the first images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope since its fix in the spring.

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