The Hubble spacecraft successfully spotted something that could lead to a lot of future breakthroughs in the space community. A team of Russian researchers were able to locate and photograph a dwarf galaxy called KKs3. KKs3 is located roughly 7 million light-years away from us, however, is particularly unique because of the smallness of the distant galaxy. The Advanced Camera for Survey’s or the ACS was used to photograph the galaxy, and pinpoint its existence down to a rough-estimation of distance between Earth, and KKs3.
In addition to being curious how many of these dwarf galaxies exist around the universe, or even those that are close enough to be identified, the galaxy lacks some of the features that many associate with dwarf galaxies to this point. Researchers did point out that the galaxy appears to be entirely isolated and completely pushed away from any other galaxies. The team and many others actually believe that this is one of only two known galaxies that share similar qualities to this one. The other having been discovered in 1999.
However, just as challenging as it is for scientists and researchers to find these types of galaxies – it’s even more challenging for these dwarf galaxies to maintain themselves, as they often cannibalize themselves by using up all of their interstellar gases incredibly quickly. “Finding objects like Kks3 is painstaking work, even with observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. But with persistence, we’re slowly building up a map of our local neighborhood, which turns out to be less empty than we thought,” said one of the members of the team Dimitry Makarov, of the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Russia.
The team and other scientists will continue studying this dwarf galaxy, and continue searching for others like it as time goes on because they stand to be very unique compared to other dwarf galaxies. These galaxies that are isolated, haven’t had their internal gases sucked from them, giving them the potential for additional learning. Scientists could have a lot of questions regarding the future of small galaxies like this, while still learning about larger galaxies and how they form over extended periods of time. Now though, scientists at least know that the neighborhood in the galaxy is definitely “less empty than we thought.”