If you know about the Andromeda galaxy (aka Messier 31 or simply M31), you’re already well aware a bit of how incredible our Universe is. Andromeda is a galaxy more than twice as big as the Milky Way, and it’s also the home of about 1 trillion stars. That’s about five times more stars than how many our own galaxy is estimated to have!
But there’s yet another galaxy our there near Andromeda that’s at least as incredible. Giuseppe Donatiello is an amateur astronomer who found the “corpse” of a galaxy near the mighty Andromeda itself!
Welcome, Pegasus V!
Pegasus V is the moniker of the newfound galaxy fossil in question, according to space.com. It’s actually a very faint dwarf galaxy that’s believed to be a relic of the first galaxies that illuminated the Universe.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) July 1, 2022
Some people might look at the image and say that there’s nothing actually there. But you know what they say that there’s a method to someone’s madness, and it’s perfectly available in this case. The discovery might even pave the way for a better understanding of how galaxies form. Oddly enough, astronomers have more to learn about this aspect even today.
Michelle Collins, leader of the new study and who works at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, explained:
This little fossil galaxy from the early universe may help us understand how galaxies form, and whether our understanding of dark matter is correct.
After Donatiello made his discovery using archival data from a U.S. Department of Energy camera, astronomers took a closer look at the same region of space using the Gemini North telescope from Hawaii.
The Andromeda galaxy is located 2.53 million light-years away from Earth. In the far future, Andromeda will merge with our Milky Way galaxy, resulting in a much bigger galaxy.