Densest galaxy ever discovered
Washington: Astronomers including an Indian-origin using NASA`s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory and telescopes on the ground may have found the densest nearby galaxy.
The ultra-compact dwarf galaxy, known as M60-UCD1, is packed with an extraordinary number of stars and may be the densest galaxy near Earth.
M60-UCD1, which is estimated to be about 10 billion years old, is near the massive elliptical galaxy NGC 4649, also called M60, about 54 million light-years from Earth.
It is the most luminous known galaxy of its type and one of the most massive, weighing 200 million times more than our Sun, based on observations with the W. M. Keck Observatory 10-meter telescope in Hawaii.
What makes M60-UCD1 so remarkable is that about half of this mass is found within a radius of only about 80 light-years. The density of stars is about 15,000 times greater - meaning the stars are about 25 times closer to each other - than in Earth`s neighbourhood in the Milky Way galaxy.
Lead author Jay Strader of Michigan State University in Lansing, said that travelling from one star to another would be a lot easier in M60-UCD1 than it is in our galaxy, but it would still take hundreds of years using present technology.
Co-author Anil Seth of the University of Utah said that the abundance of heavy elements in this galaxy makes it a fertile environment for planets and, potentially, for life to form.
The paper has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Revealed - How Indian Army hit terror camps across LoC!
- Pak forces will teach Zee News what real surgical strike is: Hafiz Saeed
- DNA: Indian Army carries out surgical strikes across LoC
- Is it time for India to respond militarily to Pak terror instead of peace talks?
- India used 'Cartosat 2c' satellite in surgical strikes against Pakistan
- Hafiz Saeed threatens Zee News, says Pak forces will teach what real surgical strikes are
- Pak postpones SAARC Summit after five member states pull out of conference: As it happened
- After threatening Zee News, Hafiz Saeed says PM Modi, Ajit Doval staged `surgical strike drama'
- India's surgical strikes: Pakistan buries slain terrorists to hide evidence, asks Masood Azhar to go mum
- Who is Chandu Babulal Chauhan and why India wants to bring him back from Pakistan - Read