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The scientists 1st began hunting for relic galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey—one of the largest and most thorough astronomical surveys of the universe ever carried out. Following determining a amount of promising candidates, they then utilized the Hubble Space Telescope to picture the NGC 1277 in a lot more element.
They have been ready to confirm its position as a relic with the support of astronomical objects referred to as globular clusters—large, compact and spherical collections of normally more mature stars orbiting a galactic core, normally in the outer areas of a galaxy.
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Nonetheless, NGC 1277 is virtually entirely devoid of blue globular clusters.
“I’ve been researching globular clusters in galaxies for a long time, and this is the 1st time I’ve ever observed this,” Michael Beasley, also from the IAC, explained in a assertion.
The deficiency of blue clusters implies that NGC 1277 never grew by merging with bordering galaxies. The astronomers explain that this is due to the fact NGC 1277 is relocating so quick through its area of the universe (two million miles for every hour) that it are not able to merge with scaled-down satellite galaxies, starving alone of the outside substance required to electrical power new star development.
In addition, the prevalence of pink globular clusters suggests that NGC 1277 stopped generating stars extended back. The scientists say fuel in the center of the galaxy is so sizzling that it can’t cool and condense to type new stars.
“I didn’t think the historical galaxy speculation at first, but ultimately I was shocked because it’s not that widespread to locate what you predict in astronomy,” Beasley added. “Typically, the universe usually arrives up with a lot more surprises than you can believe about.”