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Astronomers are one step closer to understanding a mysterious class of optically faint galaxies thanks to deep radio observations with the Green Bank Telescope, reveals a poster presented today at the Canadian Astronomical Society Annual Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia.
Surveys with optical telescopes have revealed that 'ultra diffuse galaxies'—enigmatic objects as big as the Milky Way but with only a small fraction of its stars—are abundant in and around galaxy groups and clusters. How ultra diffuse galaxies relate to Milky Way-type objects or to nearby dwarf galaxies is unknown, and progress in the optical is slow because of their extreme faintness. Instead, Professor Kristine Spekkens from the Royal Military College of Canada and her graduate student Ananthan Karunakaran from Queen's University are shedding light on this mysterious galaxy class through the eyes of the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Observations - Green - Bank - Telescope - West
Using deep observations with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, Spekkens and Karunakaran discovered the atomic gas reservoirs—the stuff out of which stars ultimately form—associated with ultra diffuse galaxies around two compact galaxy groups. In contrast...
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