Hubble discovers dwarf galaxy in cosmic neighbourhood

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Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to study white dwarf stars stumbled upon a new cosmic neighbor.

Astronomers, with the help of the Hubble Space Spyglass, have just done a startling opening: the constellation, considered component of our own star system, actually pertain to a previously unexplored star system, which is located 30 million light years away in a particularly remote of space area. And after carefully measuring the brightness and temperature of the background stars, they realized they had found something special - an entire galaxy that was hidden by the glare of NGC 6752.

The team called the elongated and small galaxy Bedin 1, which measures nearly 3,000 light years, only a fraction of the size of our galaxy. It measures only around 3000 light-years at its greatest extent - a fraction of the size of the Milky Way.

Astronomers estimate Bedin 1's age at about 13 billion years and say it's been isolated from interactions with other galaxies. They discovered a dwarf galaxy in our cosmic backyard, only 30 million light-years away. Awesome footage from NASA shows the camera zooming in on the "tiny" galaxy, dubbed "Bedin 1", surrounded by thousands of dazzling stars.

Much closer to home are nebulae, star clusters, and assorted other foreground celestial objects that are mostly within our Milky Way galaxy. This makes it possibly the most isolated small dwarf galaxy discovered to date. NASA likens it to the "astronomical equivalent of a living fossil from the early universe".

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

[1] While similar to dwarf elliptical galaxies in appearance and properties, dwarf spheroidal galaxies are in general approximately spherical in shape and have a lower luminosity.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit in 1990, where it has remained in the decades since.

The results were presented in the letter The HST Large Programme on NGC 6752. And all this activity can often mean complex histories of star formation, as old stars get ripped away and gas - the fuel of starbirth - gets pushed around, sparking new generations of stars.

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