Indian Scientists Discover New Formative Galaxy 136 Million Lightyears Away

By: Alice Massey
18 Apr 2022 11:59:07 AM Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh

A team of Indian astronomers have discovered a faint but star-forming galaxy in front of a more giant, brighter galaxy, around 136 million lightyears away.


Reportedly, a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru, together with foreign partners, discovered the galaxy while analysing NGC6902A, a known interacting galaxy. The first signs of the hidden galaxy emerged when scientists spotted diffused blue emission in the coloured photograph of the galaxy NGC 6902A's southwest outer area. The hue was captured by Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey (DECaLS), a deep optical survey conducted on international telescopes.


“The inner disk star formation released emissions that helped its detection in UV and optical images,” the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a release issued by the Press Information Bureau.


These emissions came from newborn stars of class O and B, the galaxy's most massive and shortest-lived stars. The researchers were intrigued by the unusual feature and attempted to figure out what was causing the interaction. 


The galaxy is distinguished by its low surface brightness, at least ten times the adjacent night sky, making it difficult to see. However, when optical telescopes develop more power, they will be able to detect the soft luminosity emitted by these galaxies.


The researchers have named the galaxy UVIT J202258.73-441623.8 or UVIT J2022.


The researchers also used the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and images from IRSF in South Africa and DECaLS. The conclusion and findings of this study have been published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal. 

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