Hubble discovers dwarf galaxy in cosmic neighbourhood

Zooming in on NGC 6752 and Bedin 1

Needless to say, Bedin 1 is also quite faint, which led the astronomers to classify it as a dwarf spheroidal galaxy.

The discovery was made by an global team of astronomers who had been utilizing the Hubble to observe some of the oldest and faintest white dwarf stars within the globular cluster NGC 6752.

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 goal with current instruments.

"It measures only around 3,000 light-years at its greatest extent (barely 1/30th the diameter of the Milky Way)", NASA said.

The astronomers nicknamed the galaxy Bedin 1, and their study has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

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Think your friends would be interested? Pictured: In this composite image provided by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team, the Barred Spiral Galaxy (NGC 6217) in the Ursa Minor constellation is pictured in Space.

The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered thousands of galaxies throughout its lifetime, but many of those galaxies are billions of light-years away, in the most distant parts of our visible universe.

Instead, those scientists discovered something else: an entire galaxy hiding behind this cluster of stars in our galaxy. Bedin 1 is very isolated and is also one of the very few of its type that have a well-established distance. The researchers suspect that Bedin-1 is the most isolated galaxy ever discovered. The galaxy's isolation means it rarely interacted with other galaxies, making it the equivalent of an early universe "living fossil", the space agency explains.

"The discovery of Bedin 1 was a truly serendipitous find", the ESA said. 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.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of worldwide cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). Myriad island cities of stars, the galaxies, form a backdrop tapestry.

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