Old dwarf galaxy, new discovery

This video says about itself:

Dwarf Galaxy discovered 7 Million Light Years Away!

25 December 2014

Dwarf Galaxy discovered 7 Million Light Years Away!

A team of Russian and American scientists has discovered a previously-unknown dwarf galaxy located about 7 million light years away from our own, using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys in August.

Called KKs3, the newly-uncovered galaxy is part of the famous “Local Group” of roughly 50 known galaxies that contain both the Milky Way and the Andromeda.

[The] dwarf spheroidal has no spiral arms and lacks any gas or dust, and scientists believe that gas and dust may have been stripped by nearby galaxies.

Scientists are questioning how many similar dwarf galaxies have gone unnoticed, because this is the second dwarf spheroidal galaxy to be found in the Local Group: the first (KKR25) was uncovered by the same scientists in 1999.

From Science, Space & Robots:

Very Old Dwarf Galaxy Discovered With Hubble Telescope

A very old dwarf galaxy has been discovered using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy is named KKs3. It is located over 7 million light years from Earth.

NPR reports that this location puts KKs3 about 2.5 times farther away from Earth than Andromeda, our nearest large galaxy. KKs3 has just 1/10,000 the stellar mass of the Milky Way. Most of the stars in the galaxy (74%) were formed 12 gigayears ago. The dwarf spheroidal (dSPh) galaxy lacks features like the spiral arms found on galaxies like the Milky Way.

The astronomers say the dwarf galaxy is considered isolated because it is 2 megaparsecs (Mpc) from the nearest large galaxy and 1 Mpc from any known dwarf. The astronomers also say KKs3 has exhausted its star-forming fuel.

The team of astronomers was lead by Professor Igor Karachentsev of the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Karachai-Cherkessia, Russia. Another team member, Professor Dimitry Makarov, from the Special Astrophysical Observatory, explained how difficult it is to find small galaxies like KKs3 in a Royal Astronomical Society release.

Makarov says, “Finding objects like Kks3 is painstaking work, even with observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. But with persistence, we’re slowly building up a map of our local neighbourhood, which turns out to be less empty than we thought. 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.”

A research paper on the new galaxy can be found here in the journal, Monthly Notices Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Posted on December 28, 2014

9 thoughts on “Old dwarf galaxy, new discovery

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  7. Also this month, October 2017: 100-inch mirror installed as world’s largest telescope nears completion in Pasadena, California

    Engineers under the direction of astronomer George Hale begin final assembly this month of the latest addition to the family of telescopes at the Mount Wilson Observatory: the 100-inch Hooker Telescope. It will be the world’s largest telescope until 1949, and will be a key instrument in one of the most versatile and fruitful astronomical observatories of the 20th century.

    The mirror for the Hooker telescope was first commissioned by Hale in 1906 as the successor to the as-yet-incomplete 60-inch telescope, also on Mt. Wilson. It is designed to study a series of questions that had been plaguing astronomy, including the nature of the so-called “island universes” and the “spiral nebulae.” Are these a part of our own Milky Way or even more distant? This question will be definitively answered by Edwin Hubble in 1923, when it will be shown that the “Andromeda nebula” is external to the Milky Way.

    These discoveries dramatically reshape our understanding of humanity’s place in the universe. The Milky Way, previously the extent of our horizons, turns out to be only one out of between 200 billion and 2 trillion similar formations, which constitute the basic granular organization of the universe that will later become known as “galaxies.”

    The construction of the telescope had to go through a variety of engineering and funding hurdles. When Hale first began the project, he had only secured one-tenth of the necessary funding to purchase, grind and polish the mirror, build the telescope’s mounting and construct the dome to house the telescope. It was only through the direct intervention of Andrew Carnegie in 1910 that Hale received the necessary funding to complete the project.

    Construction is further delayed by the Great War. Optical and instrument shops, funds and personnel that had been previously used to develop astronomical instruments are now dedicated to supporting the American war drive.

    On top of the difficulty in securing the component parts and labor, a variety of engineering problems surface. The mirror can only be ground and polished in the summer months because the artificial heat generated in the observatory during the winter caused the glass to warp out of position. Getting the equipment to the top of the mountain represents its own challenge: it is necessary to transport the mirror, the concrete and metal for the dome, and one hundred tons of mounting equipment up a treacherous 9-mile dust footpath. Getting just the mirror up the mountain takes eight hours on a specially designed rig.

    The immense effort and ingenuity will prove to be worth it over the course of the next several decades. Along with proving the existence of other galaxies, the Hooker telescope will be used by Hubble and his assistant Milton Humason to show that the Universe is expanding, by Fritz Zwicky to find the first evidence of dark matter, by Albert Michelson to precisely determine the diameter of stars, by Henry Russell to develop the star classification system still in use today, and by Walter Baade to calculate the distances to certain stars, doubling the size of the known universe at the time.

    English poet Alfred Noyes is inspired by the first test of the Hooker telescope on the night of November 1-2, chronicling the unfolding drama of the first starlight images taken by the telescope with his poem “Watchers of the Sky.”

    … The explorers of the sky, the pioneers
    Of science, now made ready to attack
    That darkness once again,
    and win new worlds.



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