Researchers have found what seems to be an incredibly small galaxy in an orbit around the Milky Way which has not yet been noticed.
Dubbed Hydrus 1, the galaxy is about 90,000 light-years away from Earth and is situated in the middle of our galaxy’s two other outer satellites (Small and Large Magellanic Clouds).
This galaxy was discovered with the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) of the White Telescope in Chile and the report summarizing these discoveries, which is accessible on arXiv, was directed by Serghei Koposov of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pennsylvania and has been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Hydrus 1 is a dwarf galaxy, depicted as an ultra-faint galaxy. That’ s just 326 light years in size in comparison to the 100,000 light years of the Milky Way. Hydrus 1 so tiny that it can easily pass as a globular cluster.
Hydrus 1 is the first ever found dwarf galaxy that’s spinning
Scientists discovered that Hydrus 1 features stars which are fairly poor in metal, like other dwarf galaxies which are suspected of being likewise. Galaxies are called dwarfs if they range from approximately 100 million to a few billion stars, which is, in fact, considerably less than the about 400 billion stars found in the Milky Way.
The science team also remarked that the Hydrus 1 galaxy is spinning. Therefore, this is the first ultra-faint galaxy that’s spinning which has ever been discovered, at this moment. The group also stated that it was most likely ruled by dark matter, making it relatively simple to investigate thanks to its closeness.
At the moment, the link between the dwarf galaxy Hydrus 1 and LMC (Large Magellanic Clouds) and SMC (Small Magellanic Clouds), the two satellites of the Milky Way, is not yet sufficiently established. Hopefully, however, the readings from the Gaia mission, which has just been launched an offered an impressive map of nearby stars, will provide some clues.