|M60-UCD1 (Photo from Hubble Telescope)|
If you’ve ever been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, then you surely know what human crowds are like.
Intensify that to the nth degree, and you might have some idea of what star crowds are like.
George Dvorsky of io9 reports that astronomers have now discovered a “new class of freakishly dense,compact galaxies.”
The stellar density within these “Ultracompact Dwarfs” (UCDs) is up to “a million times greater” than it is within our own night sky.
In the brightest-known UCD, named M85-HCC1, the typical distance between stars is 100 times less than the distance between stars in Earth’s galactic neighborhood.
One explanation for such extreme density is that UCDs were once part of larger galaxies. Scientists theorize that their “fluffy outer parts” were somehow stripped away (perhaps by even bigger nearby galaxies), leaving only the denser parts behind.
Copyright July 29, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved