Astronomers discover a lightweight galaxy.
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The presence of a very small galaxy neighboring the Milky Way is having big reverberations for astronomers’ models of the universe. The galaxy, named Seque 2, is the most “lightweight” galaxy ever found, according to scientists from the University of California-Irvine, who conducted new measurements of the dwarf galaxy and published a concluding study on it on June 10 in the Astrophysical Journal. The scientist additionally note that the galaxy offers important clues to how iron, carbon, and other elements vital to human life originally formed, and it vindicates some previous models that had hitherto been in serious doubt.
Seque 2 numbers only around a thousand stars, bound together by dark matter, and it orbits the Milky Way at about 114,000 light years from the Sun. Scientists first caught sight of it in 2009, while scanning large areas of the sky during the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which produced 3-D maps of more than 93,000 different galaxies.