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Bedin 1: Scientists discover most isolated dwarf galaxy

Date: 04 February 2019 Tags: Space

International team of astronomers have discovered new dwarf galaxy nicknamed Bedin 1 using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. It is possibly most isolated small dwarf galaxy discovered to date. It was discovered while astronomers were studying white dwarf stars within globular cluster NGC 6752 to measure the age of this globular cluster.

Bedin 1

  • It is modestly sized, elongated dwarf galaxy. It measures only around 3000 light-years at its greatest extent, fraction of size of our Milky Way.
  • It is not only tiny, but it is also incredibly faint. It is located about 30 million light-years from Milky Way and 2 million light-years from nearest plausible large galaxy host, NGC 6744.
  • From the properties of its stars, it was found that it is around 13 billion years old -- nearly as old as the Universe itself.
  • Because of its isolation, as result of its no interaction with other galaxies and its age, Bedin 1 is considered as astronomical equivalent of living fossil from the early Universe.

Dwarf spheroidal galaxies

They are defined by their small size, low-luminosity, lack of dust and old stellar populations. 36 galaxies of this type are already known to exist in Local Group of Galaxies, 22 of which are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way.

Hubble Space Telescope

  • It is joint venture between NASA and European Space Agency (ESA).
  • It was launched on April 24, 1990in its low earth orbit (LEO) 552 km above Earth by space shuttle Discovery.
  • It has been named after Edwin Hubble, the discoverer of the expansion of the universe.
  • It looks deep into space with its cameras. It has ability to see in multiple wavelengths — near-infrared, visible light and near ultraviolet.
  • One of its objective was to determine Hubble constant — the universe's initial rate of expansion.
  • It has helped to prove existence of super-massive black holes and found they’re located at centre of most galaxies.
  • It also helped to pinpoint age of universe at 13.8 billion years old.
  • It is the only telescope so far designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. Since its launch, five subsequent Space Shuttle missions have repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on t telescope.
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is its successor scheduled to be launched in March 2021.