Ultra-compact Dwarf Galaxy
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Ultra-compact Dwarf Galaxy

September 27, 2013
This composite image shows M60 and the region around it, where data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory are pink and data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) are red, green and blue. The Chandra image shows hot gas and double stars containing black holes and neutron stars and the HST image reveals stars in M60 and neighboring galaxies including M60-UCD1. The inset is a close-up view of M60-UCD1 in an HST image.

Packed with an extraordinary number of stars, M60-UCD1 is an "ultra-compact dwarf galaxy". It was discovered with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and follow-up observations were done with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes.

It is the most luminous known galaxy of its type and one of the most massive, weighing 200 million times more than our Sun, based on observations with the Keck 10-meter telescope in Hawaii. Remarkably, about half of this mass is found within a radius of only about 80 light years. This would make the density of stars about 15,000 times greater than found in Earth's neighborhood in the Milky Way, meaning that the stars are about 25 times closer.

Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MSU/J.Strader et al, Optical: NASA/STScI

[ Read the Article: Astronomers Find Densest Galaxy Yet Discovered ]

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