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This galaxy is almost as old as the universe itself: observer



A galaxy was discovered that, at the top of its 13 billion years, is almost as old as the universe itself. Bedin was found by the Hubble Space Telescope while studying white dwarf stars within a group of stars called NGC 6752, which is within the Milky Way. A closer look at this group presented a more concentrated area of ​​stars that seemed part of our galaxy. However, the brightness and temperature of the stars found another thing: in the end, this was a small neighboring galaxy.

Bedin I is 30 million light-years away from the Milky Way, that is, while traveling at speeds of light, nearly 300 million meters per second, it would take 30 million years. In astronomical terms this trip is not so long, hence the European Space Agency, one of the Hubble telescope manufacturers, said that Bedin I is in the vicinity of our galaxy. However small and tenuous that he is, he never surprised us, although it may be the oldest celestial bodies in the universe.

Now, our neighbor Bedin I is elongated and falls into the category of spherical dwarf galaxy. "Spheroid" because it has the shape similar to that of an egg and "dwarf" because, from one end to the other, it measures at most 300 light years – the Milky Way is 100 thousand light-years in diameter. Although we do not know much about Bedin I, it is classified because the stars are very thin, all of them are very old and because they have little dust around them.

There are 36 galaxies like this in the Local Group, which belong to Milky Way and Andromeda. The European Space Agency admits that galaxies like Bedin I are not "rare" but this is special: first because it is extremely isolated because it can be the smallest galaxy discovered to date. And above all because, given the characteristics of the stars that make up it, it has 13 billion years. The universe is probably 13.7 million.

These three characteristics together give rise to a room that makes the discovery of Bedin I even more important: if it is so old and so isolated, that means that almost nothing has changed in him since its birth. It is a kind of fossil that preserves some of the aspects that were in the early years of the universe.

Now, the European Space Agency's hope is to find more galaxies like this, as Hubble retires and the Broad Field infrared research telescope will replace: "The discovery of Bedin I was a truly casual encounter. Very few Hubble images allow to see These objects and cover only a small area of ​​the sky. Future telescopes with a great field of vision will have cameras that cover a much larger area of ​​the sky and can find many more of these galactic residents. "


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