California’s PASADENA It appears that the adjacent galaxy group’s dim dwarf galaxies were not informed. These recently discovered dwarfs cluster in one area as opposed to being equally distributed around the largest galaxy in the group, as is the case in our own galaxy group. And astronomers are baffled as to why.
At the American Astronomical Society conference on June 13, astronomer Eric Bell observed, “This satellite dispersion is plain strange.”
In order to find dwarf galaxies around the galaxy M81, Bell of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his team utilized the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. This galaxy, which resembles the Milky Way, is the most noticeable among a collection of galaxies located just around 12 million light-years away from Earth.
Six potential fainter dwarf galaxies were discovered along with one confirmed dwarf galaxy.
The fact that the newly discovered satellite galaxies are all clustered on one side of M81, according to Bell, is “simply bananas.”
The biggest galaxies are thought to contain several dim, tiny galaxies evenly dispersed around the outer portion of the dominating galaxy’s hazy, cloud-like halo, according to computer models of galaxy evolution. Our galaxy group’s observations confirm this:
The majority of the dwarf galaxies found surrounding our nearest giant neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, as well as the dozens of dwarf galaxies known to circle around the Milky Way’s periphery, are uniformly dispersed throughout the galaxy.
However, in the M81 group, NGC 3077, a smaller member of that group that is roughly one-tenth the mass of M81, seems to be surrounded by the seven newly discovered star clumps. Nobody expected that, according to Bell, that the bigger object wouldn’t have additional satellites.