Astronomers using the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope have made an unexpected discovery – dwarves in our space yard, just 30 million light-years away.
This photo shows a part of the NGC 6752 ballot that they are actually studying. But behind these bright stars is a denser collection of pale stars. This is the unknown dwarf spherical galaxy, known as Bedin 1.
While dwarf spherical galaxies are not unusual, Bedin 1 has some remarkable features. It is one of the few that has a well-established distance and is extremely isolated – about 30 million light-years from the Milky Way and two million light-years from the nearest large galaxy host, NGC 6744.
The picture is made with the advanced Hubble Study Camera and the discovery is reported in the journal Monthly Announcements of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters,
The discovery is considered to be really accidental, as very few images of Hubble allow such pale objects to be seen.