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Dozens of ultra-compact dwarf galaxies detected

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Astronomers from the University of Groningen and elsewhere have identified 44 new ultra-compact dwarf galaxies (UCDs). The newly found objects most likely belong to the Fornax Cluster. The discovery is reported in a paper published March 31 on the arXiv pre-print server.
UCD/GCs around the brightest galaxies in the Fornax cluster. Credit: Saifollahi et al., 2021.

UCDs are very compact galaxies with high stellar populations, containing about 100 million stars. They display masses, colors and metallicities between those of globular clusters and early-type dwarf galaxies. These ultra-compact stellar systems could provide important insights on the formation and evolution of galaxies in the universe.

Located some 65 million light years away from the Earth, the Fornax Cluster is the second-richest cluster of galaxies nearby. Due to its relatively close proximity, it is a valuable source of information about galaxy clusters in general. Previous observations of Fornax Cluster have detected 61 member UCDs in total.

Now, a group of astronomers led by Teymoor Saifollahi of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, reports the finding of dozens of new potential UCDs that may be associated with the Fornax Cluster. By analyzing the data from the Fornax Deep Survey (FDS), Vista Hemisphere Survey (VHS) and archival datasets from the Visible and Infrared Survey…
Tomasz Nowakowski
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