In a new study, researchers have discovered a faint blue colored galaxy located in the constellation ‘Leo Minor’ nearly 30 million light-years away from the Earth. According to researchers from the Indiana university who led to the stunning discovery, it is the most metal-poor galaxy yet as it has the lowest amount of heavy chemicals elements ever observed by a team of astronomers.
Professor John J. Salzer from IU’s Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences said, “finding the most metal-poor galaxy ever is exciting since it can help contribute to a quantitative test of the Big Bang.”
Galaxies that have very low amount of metals are very rare to find. Astronomers are always very excited to study these low-metal galaxies as they offer conditions similar to early days after Big Band. According to consensus by the scientists all over the globe, a gigantic blast named as Big Bang gave birth to the universe and very low amount of metals were present at that time. Computer simulation reveals how much helium and hydrogen was present during the Big Bang. Scientists believe that elements in similar ratios exist in the metal-poor galaxies.
However, such galaxies are located very far away from Earth and are very hard to find. “Low metal abundance is essentially a sign that very little stellar activity has taken place compared to most galaxies,” added Alec S Hirschauer, graduate student.
With the time and stellar processing, a lot of heavier metals were created in our galaxy Milky Way which depleted any chances of studying Big Bang from data obtained for our galaxy.
The newly discovered galaxy named Leoncino or “little lion” is a dwarf galaxy which measures only 1,000light-yearss in diameter and containes few million stars. While our galaxy Milky Way contains an estimated 200 billion to 400 billion stars.
The study appeared in the Astrophysical Journal on this Friday.