Sunday, July 25, 2021

What is a Dwarf galaxy?

A dwarf galaxy is a small galaxy composed of about 1000 up to several billion stars, as compared to the Milky Way's 200–400 billion stars. The Large Magellanic Cloud, which closely orbits the Milky Way and contains over 30 billion stars, is sometimes classified as a dwarf galaxy; others consider it a full-fledged galaxy. Dwarf galaxies' formation and activity are thought to be heavily influenced by interactions with larger galaxies. Astronomers identify numerous types of dwarf galaxies, based on their shape and composition.


Dwarf galaxies like NGC 5264 typically possess around a billion stars.

One theory states that most galaxies, including dwarf galaxies, form in association with dark matter, or from gas that contains metals. However, NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer space probe identified new dwarf galaxies forming out of gases with low metallicity. These galaxies were located in the Leo Ring, a cloud of hydrogen and helium around two massive galaxies in the constellation Leo.

Because of their small size, dwarf galaxies have been observed being pulled toward and ripped by neighboring spiral galaxies, resulting in galaxy merger.

𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐟 𝐠𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐬

The Phoenix Dwarf Galaxy is a dwarf irregular galaxy, featuring younger stars in its inner regions and older ones at its outskirts.

There are many dwarf galaxies in the Local Group; these small galaxies frequently orbit larger galaxies, such as the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy. A 2007 paper has suggested that many dwarf galaxies were created by galactic tides during the early evolutions of the Milky Way and Andromeda. Tidal dwarf galaxies are produced when galaxies collide and their gravitational masses interact. Streams of galactic material are pulled away from the parent galaxies and the halos of dark matter that surround them. A 2018 study suggests that some local dwarf galaxies formed extremely early, during the Dark Ages within the first billion years after the big bang.

More than 20 known dwarf galaxies orbit the Milky Way, and recent observations[8] have also led astronomers to believe the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way, Omega Centauri, is in fact the core of a dwarf galaxy with a black hole at its centre, which was at some time absorbed by the Milky Way. 

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