Scientists have found what looks like an exceedingly small galaxy in the orbit around our own Milky Way Galaxy, which had previously avoided detection. Named Hydrus 1, it’s located about 90,000 light-years from Earth, between two other satellites of our galaxy – the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds (SMC and LMC).
It was found using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the Blanco Telescope in Chile. A paper describing the findings, available on arXiv, has been submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society for publication. It was led by Sergey Koposov from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pennsylvania.
“We report the discovery of a nearby dwarf galaxy in the constellation of Hydrus, between the Large and the Small Magellanic Clouds,” the authors wrote in their paper.
Hydrus 1 is a dwarf galaxy, described as being ultra-faint. It’s only about 326 light-years across, which is pretty paltry when compared to our Milky Way, which is 100,000 light-years across. It’s so small that it might actually be a globular cluster, a loose collection of stars. This will help astronomers understanding the surroundings of milky way more easily.
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