While searching the globular cluster NGC 6752, an global team of scientists discovered a compact collection of stars millions of light years away. Behind the bright stars of the cluster a denser collection of faint stars.
Though it might be hard to imagine, astronomers stumbled on this galaxy by accident. Awesome footage from NASA shows the camera zooming in on the "tiny" galaxy, dubbed "Bedin 1", surrounded by thousands of dazzling stars.
The team called the elongated and small galaxy Bedin 1, which measures nearly 3,000 light years, only a fraction of the size of our galaxy. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are defined by their small size, low luminosity, lack of dust and old stellar populations.
Reference: These results will be published online January 31, 2019, in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters [https://academic.oup.com/mnrasl].More news: Apple, Facebook spat is over, for now-iOS certificate access restored
Instead, those scientists discovered something else: an entire galaxy hiding behind this cluster of stars in our galaxy. They're also fairly common in our Local Group of galaxies - we know of 36 galaxies of this type and 22 of them are in orbit around our galaxy!
Further observations led the astronomers to deduce that the galaxy is roughly 13 billion years old, making it roughly as old as the Milky Way.
Scientists using the Hubble telescope have discovered a new dwarf galaxy.
According to NASA, the Bedin 1 galaxy is both ancient and isolated, spanning approximately 3,000 light-years and clocking in around a thousand times dimmer than the Milky Way. NASA likens it to the "astronomical equivalent of a living fossil from the early universe". Future telescopes with a large field of view, such as the WFIRST telescope, will have cameras covering a much larger area of the sky and may find many more of these galactic neighbours. The telescope has been used to observe our solar system's planets, as well as distant galaxies and stars.