You live on earth. The Earth is part of a planetary lunar system that is part of the larger solar system. The solar system is about a single star in the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 1
The scientists used data from a number of sources to hunt for previously undiscovered galaxies that hid in a region of space called the Fornax Cluster. The Fornax cluster is a cluster of galaxies located approx. 65 million light-years from Earth and has previously been a huge source of discoveries in the galaxy. In this case, data from several studies and observation campaigns were used to reveal the presence of 44 new galaxies, but they do not resemble the Milky Way.
There are many different types of galaxies in the universe. Spiral galaxies like our own are only one type, and each galaxy variant can come in different sizes. These new galaxies are so-called UCDs or ultra-compact dwarf galaxies. As their name suggests, these galaxies are extremely compact and are only about 200 light-years across. By comparison, the Milky Way is thought to be about 100,000 light-years in diameter, giving or taking a few lifetimes.
Because they are smaller in size, they also contain fewer stars. It is estimated that UCDs contain approx. 100 million stars, but that is again just a very rough estimate. These “small” galaxies are a relatively new discovery for scientists, with the first UCDs being classified less than two decades ago. They are also quite harder to spot than their larger, more impressive counterparts, which is why they may have been hiding in data that had already been studied.
After searching the available information, the research team had as many as 220 potential UCD candidates. That’s a lot, so the researchers decided to focus their efforts on the objects that are most likely UCDs. They ended up with 44, which are probably new galaxies that had not yet been documented, and they lie near the edge of the larger cluster. The researchers say the new galaxies are over 1,170 light-years from the cluster’s core, which may also have made them harder to spot in previous research efforts.
“With the deep optical images of the Fornax Deep Survey combined with public near-infrared data, we visit the UCD population in the Fornax cluster and systematically search for UCD candidates for the first time in the galaxies’ viral radius cluster,” the researchers explain.
At a distance of approx. 65 million light-years from Earth, it’s just that we can know that these galaxies exist impressively. Unfortunately, it will take a while before we have the technology to learn much more about them or what they contain.
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See the original version of this article at BGR.com