Astronomers Discovered Rare Dwarf Galaxy

An international team of astronomers from Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and Finland

has discovered a rare dwarf galaxy, called LEDA 074886, which has a striking resemblance to an emerald cut diamond. The astronomers discovered the rectangular shaped galaxy within a group of 250 galaxies some 70 million light years away. As said Associate Professor Alister Graham from Swinburne University of Technology in the Universe around us, most galaxies exist in one of three forms: spheroidal, disc-like, or lumpy and irregular in appearance.The rare rectangular-shaped galaxy was a very unusual object, and compared it to the Leaning Tower of Pisa for defying the laws of nature. The uniquely shaped galaxy was detected in a wide field of view image taken with the Japanese Subaru Telescope for an unrelated program by Swinburne astrophysicist Dr. Lee Spitler. Based on this image alone, astronomers cannot rule out that the galaxy is shaped like a cube, although they believe it to be unlikely. Instead, they believe that LEDA 074886 may resemble an inflated disc seen side on, like a short cylinder. Support for this scenario comes from observations with the giant Keck Telescope in Hawaii, which revealed a rapidly spinning, thin disc with a side on orientation lurking at the center of the galaxy. The outermost measured edge of this galactic disc is rotating at a speed in excess of 100,000 kilometers per hour. According to Professor Duncan Forbes, a co-author of the study one possibility is that the galaxy may have formed out of the collision of two spiral galaxies.