‘New’ galaxy found in Milky Way's neighborhood

‘New’ galaxy found in Milky Way's neighborhood

(Courtesy of D. Makarov/RAS)

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RUSSIA — A tiny dwarf galaxy was recently discovered in the Milky Way’s own neighborhood.

Dubbed Kks3, the dwarf spheroidal galaxy is located about 7 million light years away, according to the Royal Astronomical Society. It is part of the Local Group galaxy cluster, which includes our Milky Way and more than 50 other galaxies.

“Finding objects like Kks3 is painstaking work, even with observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope,” team member Dimitry Makarov said in a statement. “But with persistence, we’re slowly building up a map of our local neighborhood, which turns out to be less empty than we thought. It may be that there 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.”

A Russian-American team found the galaxy in August with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope. The findings were later published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Kks3 is only the second isolated dwarf spheroidal galaxy found in the Local Group, according to the RAS. It said the galaxy is located in the direction of the constellation Hydrus in the southern sky.

The newly discovered galaxy is much smaller than the Milky Way, with Kks3’s stars only having one ten-thousandth of the mass of its neighbor, astronomers said.


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Natalie Crofts


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