The Russian astronomers have identified a new isolated dwarf galaxy, which is a new neighbor for our Milky Way galaxy, and is located almost 7 million light years away.
Study lead investigator Prof Igor Karachentsev of the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Russia’s Karachai-Cherkessia spotted the new galaxy with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The new dwarf galaxy was discovered in August this year.
The scientists have named the tiny and isolated dwarf galaxy as KKs3, which is present in the southern sky towards the direction where the Hydrus constellation and its stars are located. The new galaxy also has one ten-thousandth of the mass of our Milky Way.
Kks3 is characterized as a “dwarf spheroidal” or dSph galaxy, which lacks crucial features like the spiral arms that are commonly found in galaxies including our own Milky Way. Moreover, it also don’t possess the basic raw materials, i.e. gas and dust, required for the formation of new generations of stars, leaving behind fainter and older relics.
Scientists said that this raw material has likely been stripped out in nearly every case by the neighboring galaxies, including Andromeda. The researchers explain this is why the majority of dSph objects are found near bigger companions in general.
Our Milky Way galaxy has been part of a cluster of over 50 galaxies that constitute the “Local Group”, which also includes the well-known Andromeda galaxy and several others.
The scientists were mainly enthusiastic about finding dSph objects in order to understand the formation of galaxy in the universe.
The findings of the study were reported in the Royal Astronomical Society’s monthly notices.