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NASA’s Hubble finds ‘relic galaxy’ near Milky Way

For the study, the team started looking for "arrested development" galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and found 50 candidate massive compact galaxies

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Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
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  • NASA’s scientists unearthed a relic galaxy
  • This relic galaxy have double as stars as the milky way
  • This can be a new landmark research

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have unearthed a “relic galaxy” in the Milky Way’s backyard. The galaxy NGC 1277, lies near the centre of the Perseus cluster of over 1,000 galaxies, located 240 million light-years away.

NASA to release two missions focused on moon soon in 2022. Pixabay
NASA’s hubble discovered relic galaxy. Pixabay

The findings, published in the journal Nature, showed that the relic galaxy has twice as many stars as our Milky Way, but physically it is as small as one quarter the size of our galaxy. Essentially, NGC 1277 is in a state of “arrested development”. Further, the scientists found that NGC 1277 does not have the same kinds of globular clusters that other large galaxies have.

While massive galaxies tend to have both metal-poor (appearing blue) and metal-rich (appearing red) globular clusters, NGC 1277 is almost entirely lacking in blue globular clusters. This suggests that NGC 1277 never grew further by gobbling up surrounding galaxies.

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“I’ve been studying globular clusters in galaxies for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this,” said Michael Beasley, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias at the University of La Laguna, Spain.

NGC 1277 started its life with a bang long ago, ferociously churning out stars 1,000 times faster than seen in our own Milky Way today. But it abruptly went quiescent as the baby boomer stars aged and grew ever redder.

nasa's hubble space telescope
Relic galaxy have more stars than milky way.

The very rare and odd assemblage of stars has remained essentially unchanged for the past 10 billion years, scientists said. In addition, NGC 1277 also has a central black hole that is much more massive than it should be for a galaxy of that size.

This reinforces the scenario that the supermassive black hole and dense hub of the galaxy grew simultaneously, but the galaxy’s stellar population stopped growing and expanding because it was starved of outside material, the study showed. While Hubble has spotted relic galaxies before, but this one is by far the closest.

“We can explore such original galaxies in full detail and probe the conditions of the early universe,” said Ignacio Trujillo, from the varsity.

For the study, the team started looking for “arrested development” galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and found 50 candidate massive compact galaxies. IANS

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NASA Hubble Completes First Science Operations

Hubble is now back in its normal science operations mode with three fully functional gyros

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NASA to send tissue chips to space to test human health, genetic changes. Flcikr

NASA Hubble Space Telescope has returned to normal operations and completed its first science observations after a three-week hiatus owing to a failed gyroscope.

The observations were of the distant, star-forming galaxy and were taken in infrared wavelengths with the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument.

The return to conducting science comes after successfully recovering a backup gyroscope, or gyro, that had replaced a failed gyro three weeks earlier, NASA said in a statement late on Sunday.

A gyro is a device that measures the speed at which the spacecraft is turning, which is necessary to help Hubble turn and lock on to new targets.

One of Hubble’s gyros failed on October 5, and the spacecraft’s operations team activated a backup gyro the next day.

NASA, Hubble
A gyro is a device that measures the speed at which the spacecraft is turning, which is necessary to help Hubble turn and lock on to new targets. Flcikr

However, the backup incorrectly returned rotation rates that were far in excess of the actual rates.

Hubble is now back in its normal science operations mode with three fully functional gyros.

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Originally required to last 15 years, Hubble has now been at the forefront of scientific discovery for more than 28 years, said NASA.

“The team expects the telescope will continue to yield amazing discoveries well into the next decade, enabling it to work alongside the James Webb Space Telescope,” the space agency added. (IANS)