Hubble discoveres a new dwarf galaxy ‘Bedin 1’ in cosmic neighbourhood

Published: February 5, 2019

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has made an unexpected discovery of a new dwarf galaxy in our cosmic neighborhood. Named Bedin 1, the galaxy is approximately 30 million light-years away and 2 million light-years from the nearest plausible large galaxy host ‘NGC 6744’. The object is classified as a dwarf spheroidal galaxy because it measures only around 3,000 light-years at its greatest extent, and it is roughly a thousand times dimmer than our own Milky Way Galaxy. The galaxy is named after discovery team leader Dr. L. R. Bedin of the INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova in Italy. The dwarf spheroidal galaxies are not uncommon, Bedin 1 has some notable features. Not only is it one of just a few dwarf spheroidals that have a well established distance but it is also extremely isolated. This makes it possibly the most isolated small dwarf galaxy discovered to date. The Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are defined by their small size, low-luminosity, lack of dust and old stellar populations. 36 galaxies of this type are already known to exist in the Local Group, 22 of which are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. The researchers used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study white dwarf stars within the globular cluster NGC 6752. The aim of their observations was to use these stars to measure the age of the globular cluster, but in the process they made an unexpected discovery of Bedin 1.

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