The astronomers who discovered this new galaxy were originally doing a survey of a cluster known as NGC 6752. During relatively recent work on imaging NGC 6752, a globular star cluster located around 13,000 light-years from the Milky Way's halo, Hubble made a surprise discovery: a previously unknown dwarf galaxy. Behind the bright stars of the cluster a denser collection of faint stars is visible - a previously unknown dwarf spheroidal galaxy. After a careful analysis of their brightnesses and temperatures, the astronomers concluded that these stars did not belong to the cluster - which is part of the Milky Way - but rather they are millions of light-years more distant. Bedin 1 is a fraction of the size of the Milky Way and is classified as a dwarf spheroidal galaxy.
Dwarf galaxies are common in the universe, but most ride the coattails of larger galaxies. Awesome footage from NASA shows the camera zooming in on the "tiny" galaxy, dubbed "Bedin 1", surrounded by thousands of dazzling stars.More news: Iran Unveils Homegrown Long-Range Cruise Missile (+Photo, Video)
"Had the galaxy been 10 times further away, it would have been much harder to detect", said Bedin. And that's what makes Bedin 1 so interesting for astronomers. And astronomers say the discovery was completely by accident.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been peering into the unknown and infinite universe for almost 30 years. The researchers suspect that Bedin-1 is the most isolated galaxy ever discovered.
Its stars are also old, like really old, revealing that the galaxy is as ancient as the universe itself - approximately 13 billion years old. However, its remote location and the fact that it's not near any other galaxies has led researchers to label it "a living fossil from the early Universe".More news: Steph Curry After 50th Game Of Season: 'This is Playoff Mentality Time'
The team published their discovery January 31, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.
The Hubble Space Telescope, run by USA space agency NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), has once again delivered an awesome view at the cosmos. The scope's cosmic views were initially blurry - the result of a slight flaw in Hubble's primary mirror - but spacewalking astronauts fixed that problem in December 1993.More news: Overwatch releases new Assault map to the PTR