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Ultra-diffuse Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

Posted on August 22, 2015

In a new paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team of astronomers led by CWRU Astronomy professor Chris Mihos report the discovery of three “ultra-diffuse galaxies” in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. These galaxies are the most diffuse galaxies discovered — as large as our own Milky Way galaxy, but hundreds of times fainter. One of the ultra-diffuse galaxies is in the process of being tidally shredded by the strong gravitational forces at work in the dense cluster of galaxies, tearing it apart and leaving its nucleus behind to become a new “ultra-compact dwarf.” Their discovery of these exceptionally faint galaxies was made possible only by the deep imaging capabilities of CWRU Astronomy’s Burrell Schmidt telescope.

Ultradiffuse galaxies in the Virgo cluster of galaxies

Ultradiffuse galaxies in the Virgo cluster of galaxies

Read more about these elusive galaxies in the discovery paper, published in the in the August 20, 2015 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters and freely available here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1507.02270

 

Page last modified: August 22, 2015