NASA released a new picture of a far away and isolated galaxy in the Ursa Major constellation. The galaxy was named UGC 4879, and scientists believe it may contain the secrets of the Universe. The photograph was published only a couple of days ago and it depicts an irregular bound of stars, situated at millions of light years away.
The Mysterious UGC 4879 Galaxy
The newly found galaxy is situated at the periphery of the Local Group, which includes the Milky Way and 52 other galaxies. The Local Group is a part of the Virgo Supercluster, which may be a component of the Laniakea Supercluster.
The two principal members of the group are Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, both of which have multiple satellite galaxies.
However, the UGC 4879 galaxy is a lot smaller than the other galaxies in its vicinity. It also is less organized, as it lacks both elliptical and spiral features.
UGC 4879 is almost exclusively constituted by dwarfs, all in blue colors. It has low luminosity and no rings, no dust, no gas, and no recent star formation.
Scientists believe that the galaxy may also contain dark matter.
The picture shows a galaxy that is extremely isolated. Its nearest neighbors is Leo A, located 2.3 million light years away. The distance between UGC 4879 and Leo A is similar to that of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
Scientists believe that isolation makes it be a perfect object of study. The vast majority of galaxies are interconnected; galaxies and space objects influence one another due to their proximity.
The stars from UGC 4879 are believed to be formed four billion years after the Big Bang, just before the 9 billion years pause in star formation. The stage was continued by a more regular star formation, a trend that is active even now.
As this newly found galaxy is somehow by itself in space, scientists believe that its study could lead to new theories about the birth of galaxies and explanations on its irregular shapes.
About Astronomical Photography
Stars colored in blue are thought to have been formed at the same time as the molecular cloud. They are considered to be young and hot, or massive stars.
The red color indicates a star that is cooler than the Sun, which could mean that it is less massive, or that it is close to dying. These small stars are called red dwarfs and scientists believe they are the most numerous star types in the Milky Way.
Stars are powerfully determined by their mass. Thus, the massive stars burn bright and die young, after only tens of millions of years. Smaller stars are said to live for trillions of years, even more than the current age of our Universe.
Stars like the Sun typically live longer than other large stars. Scientists believe the Sun could survive up to ten billion years.
Image Source: Flickr