One day when I was aimlessly drifting through the universe (okay, I was looking for asteroids
) I came across these weird looking blobs. They didn’t really look like galaxies and they were so faint. 587727177915433341
Looking for some more information these blobs turned out to be old red giants in the Cetus Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy
, a member of the Local Group of Galaxies in the constellation of Cetus.
Cetus dSph is a dwarf spheroidal
which means it is a low luminosity dwarf elliptical galaxy and a member of the Local Group.
The Local Group
consists of the Milky Way and Andromeda as the big boys, both with a host of satellite galaxies.
These satellite galaxies can be dwarf irregulars, containing young stars and gas, and most of them lie far from the Milky Way and Andromeda or dwarf spheroidals, stripped of their gas and no longer starforming, most of them in orbit around the large galaxies.
But as always there are exceptions to the rule : Enter Cetus dSph.
It was discovered in 1998 by Dr. Alan Whiting, Dr. George Hau and Dr. Mike Irwin.
It lies far from both the Milky Way and Andromeda (2.5 million lightyears from the Milky Way and 2.2 million light years from Andromeda) and could represent a primordial dwarf that hasn’t been disturbed by the large galaxies. The Cetus Dwarf is moving very slowly towards the Milky Way (at +/-25 km/s) and the Sun (+/-87 km/s). But no cause for panic because at this rate it will arrive at about 30 billion years.
These satellite galaxies might not make the most spectacular of sights, if at all visible, but they are part of our local neighbourhood so I thought they should get a mention here.
Some more snapshots for the family album
Andromeda VI 587740523467440736
Andromeda VII (posted by LizPeter)758874293701574900