Details of new dwarf galaxy discovered on the outskirts of the Milky Way

Using the Kilo-Degree Survey, astronomers detected a significant overabundance of old and metal-poor stars (illustrating image Infobay)

huge amount of comments who has given permission Telescope Cutting-edge technologies have offered scientists hundreds of new developments occurring every week. Now, a team of astronomers from Naples discovered a new star system on the outskirts of Galaxy As part of the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS), a set of optical survey In this southern sky, The new system is called Sextans IIPossibly an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy.

KiDS is a comprehensive multiband photometric survey using the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Since 2011, it has mapped 1,350 square degrees Night sky In four broadband filters (U, G, R, I). Although KiDS focuses on the composition of large-scale structures in the universe, it can also detect other extragalactic stars Low surface gloss.

That’s why a team astronomers director massimiliano gatto The Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory in Naples, Italy decided to carry out mass search Of faint star systems Unidentified people with KiDS, as described in published article arXiv, To do this, they tracked the low-luminosity stellar superdensity in the system’s latest data release (DR4), with promising results.

This discovery highlights the importance of continued research to confirm the true nature of Sextans II-like structures and their role in the galactic environment (Europa Press)

“We report the discovery of a significant and compact overdensity of old, metal-poor stars in the fourth data release from the KiDS study (DR4),” the authors report in the paper.

The team identified a very promising superdensity of stars in the Sextans constellation. Follow-up observations of this discovery were made with the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope. The findings confirmed that it is a star system located approximately 473,000 light years away.

Initially, astronomers designated the new system KiDS-UFD-1 and named it Sextans II. The data collected indicate that Sextans II is relatively small, with a half-light radius of about 629 light years, while its mass is estimated at 4,910 solar masses. The system has a metallicity of -1.5 dex (a parameter to measure the concentration of metals in a celestial body), an ellipticity of 0.46, and an age of at least 10 billion years.

A postcard of the Hubble telescope, which is also often used for space discoveries (Europa Press)

According to the article’s authors, the results indicate that Sextans II is a weak, old and metal-poor system, Gatto’s team concluded that it is a faint spherical satellite of the galaxy, possibly an ultra-faint dwarf (UFD) galaxy. In general, these are the least luminous, darkest matter-rich, and least chemically evolved galaxies known.

However, the researchers do not rule out the possibility that Sextans II could be a disintegrating globular cluster (a globular collection of stars that typically orbit a galactic nucleus as if it were a satellite), saying that this system More research is needed to confirm. Its true form.

Experts have dedicated themselves to monitoring the discovery for progress in its definition and classification because, they say, it could offer new contributions to the way our own galaxy originated.

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