Discovery of 'living fossil' galaxy could unlock secrets about early universe

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While studying the ancient white dwarf stars in the bright globular cluster NGC 6752, in an effort to gain an accurate measure of the cluster's age, they noticed something amiss in the background.

In the outer fringes of the area observed with Hubble's camera, a compact collection of stars was visible. They analyzed the brightness and temperatures of the stars and later found that they did not belong to the globular cluster, which is part of the Milky Way.

Despite dwarf spheroidal galaxies being a common discovery, Bedin 1 is unique from the rest.

Aging space telescope Hubble has stumbled upon a previously unknown galaxy dubbed Bedin 1, a celestial destination within the Milky Way that NASA describes as akin to a 'living fossil.' The relatively minuscule, very dim Bedin 1 galaxy is 13-billion-years-old and spheroidal in shape with a width around 1/30th that of the Milky Way.

Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are defined by their small size, low-luminosity, lack of dust and old stellar populations [1].

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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.

The team published their discovery January 31, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 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 researchers that discovered Bedin-1 were really lucky to have stumbled on it by accident, because it's so small and faint it would probably never have been discovered on objective with current instruments.

Scientists using the Hubble telescope have discovered a new dwarf galaxy.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been peering into the unknown and infinite universe for almost 30 years. NASA has shared a stunning image of the dwarf galaxy that was captured by Hubble. A Hubble statement likens Bedin 1 to "the astronomical equivalent of a living fossil from the early Universe". It lies about 30 million light-years from the Milky Way and 2 million light-years from the nearest plausible large galaxy host, NGC 6744.