Strange satellite galaxies revealed around Milky Way

Astronomers have discovered two new satellite galaxies of the Milky Way and one could claim the title of the faintest yet found. In the past two years, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s measurements of stars stretching across a quarter of the sky have enabled astronomers to find several new companion dwarf galaxies for the Milky Way and its near-twin galaxy, Andromeda. “The advent of very wide-area surveys means we’re certainly moving to a new regime in terms of what we’re able to discover,” says Daniel Zucker at the University of Cambridge, UK. Zucker’s team located one of the new dwarf galaxies in the constellation Canes Venatici by finding an “over-density” of old, metal-poor stars in the Sloan data. All of the stars have similar chemical abundances and temperature, but they are quite spread out, spanning more than 6000 light years.

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