Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Hubble spots dwarf galaxy through cosmic eyes

Hubble spots dwarf galaxy through cosmic eyes

Bedin-1 is a small dwarf galaxy not unlike some of the other small dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, with one big exception: It's really far away from pretty much everything else.

An worldwide team of astronomers recently used the telescope to study white dwarf stars in the NGC 6752.

Bedin 1 appears on the lower end of this Hubble image of globular cluster NGC 6752.

In the outer fringes of the observed area, a compact collection of stars was visible.

Initially believing the Bedin 1 group of stars was part of a separate cluster belonging to the Milky Way, astronomers soon realised that it was in fact a separate galaxy millions more light years away than previously thought.

The scientists that made this discovery are now calling the galaxy Bedin 1, after the lead discoverer, Luigi Bedin. Measuring only 3,000 light-years wide, Bedin 1 is a fraction of the size of the Milky Way (our galaxy is at least 100,000 light-years wide). The lunar sample was brought to Earth from the Moon by the Apollo 14 astronauts. The researchers published their findings in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. Granted, galaxies are anything but "small", but compared to our absolute unit of a galaxy, Bedin 1 is a featherweight.

You may have spotted the Triangulum Galaxy-also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598-on a particularly clear night: It's that faint, blurry object in the constellation of Triangulum (the Triangle).

"Most of these galaxies were relatively small and faint, with masses similar to those of the satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way", NASA said. Its stars are also old, like really old, revealing that the galaxy is as ancient as the universe itself - approximately 13 billion years old. "Because of its isolation - which resulted in hardly any interaction with other galaxies - and its age, Bedin 1 is the astronautical equivalent of a living fossil from the early Universe", Hubble's website explained.

Although it's a common type of tiny galaxy, according to the study, Bedin 1 does have some special attributes. That makes it a neighbor, in galactic terms.

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