A team comprising Russian and American scientists has just discovered a previously-unknown dwarf galaxy located about 7 million light years away from our Milky Way galaxy. Scientists based at Unique Astrophysical Observatory in Karachai-Cherkessia, Russia have spotted a tiny galaxy with the help of Hubble Space Telescope’s Sophisticated Camera for Surveys in August.
This dwarf spheroidal galaxy christened Kks3 was spotted some 7 million light years away from Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope was employed to see the unknown family of stars which sits 7 million light years away from our very own Milky Way Galaxy.
Kks3 is 10,000 times lighter than the Milky Way and can be seen in the southern constellation of Hydrus. It is the second known dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the local group, a congregation of 54 groups of stars, which also includes our very own Milky Way Galaxy.
Dimitry Makarov, from the Special Astrophysical Observatory said, “Finding objects like Kks3 is painstaking work, even with observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope… It may be that are a huge number of dwarf spheroidal galaxies out there, something that would have profound consequences for our ideas about the evolution of the cosmos.”
Dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies are markedly different from the regular galaxies and do not have distinct features like the spiral arms of the Andromeda Galaxy. They are also short of materials needed to give birth to new stars. Thus dwarf spheroidal galaxies can be described as archaic and incapable of producing new steller families.
Dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies do not exhibit distinct features, like the spiral arms of the Andromeda Galaxy, another member of the local group. They also lack much of the material needed to produce new stars. Therefore, most of the stars in are old, and the bodies are not producing new stellar families.
Most of the material which otherwise would have gone to make new stars have been ripped apart by the enormous gravitational pull of larger galaxies like the Andromeda. Only one other dSph body, KKR 25, has been discovered in the local group, in 1999, by the same Russian and American team that found Kks3.
The discovery features in the December edition of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.