Astrophysicists inspecting the skies just got a massive surprise. They discovered a huge galaxy orbiting the Milky Way, haven’t seen before. It just came out of nowhere.
So, how did the recently-discovered Crater 2 succeeded in pulling off this feat, like a deer flying out from the interstellar bushes to unexpectedly shock us? Even though the presence may seem sudden, the Crater 2 has always been there. We were just unable to see it. (Milky Way Galaxy, Image Credit: ESO / Serge Brunier, Frederic Tapissier Via NASA)
Now that astrophysicists know it’s there, even though, there are a few other serious facts that astrophysicists revealed. First of all, we cannot blame the galaxy’s size for its comparative insignificance. Crater 2 is so massive that astronomers have already recognized it as the fourth largest galaxy orbiting the Milky Way. We can’t blame its distance too. Crater 2's orbit around the Milky Way makes it just exactly our neighborhood.
That being said, the question arises here is how we were unaware that it was there? A new research paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society from astronomers at the Cambridge University has a reply for us. It proves to be that, irrespective of being huge and near, Crater 2 is also a quite dark galaxy. In fact, it’s one of the faintest galaxies ever detected in the observable Universe. That, along with some much perkier neighbors, let this galaxy which astronomers nicknamed as “the feeble giant” remain unseen from our eyes until very now.
Now that we have discovered Crater 2, yet, the discovery demands some questions about what else could be out there that we are still unable to see. Astrophysicists are already talking about starting a search for similarly large, dark galaxies close to us. It’s a good signal that there’s still so much about the Universe that we still don’t understand.