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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Aging Galaxy

Galaxy IC 335

(Photo : NASA/ESA Hubble) The newly-discovered galaxy, IC 335.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new white galaxy standing against a backdrop of other distant galaxies.

The American space agency said the galaxy's a lenticular galaxy, which typically has a thin stellar disk and a bulge. This kind of a galaxy falls between a true spiral galaxy and an elliptical galaxy. It's classified as an S0 type galaxy.

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NASA calls it IC 335 and it's 60 million light years away from our planet. IC 335 is one of four galaxies in its galaxy group, which you can find in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster.

Only a few new stars can form out of the material left and the star formation rate is very low. Hence, the population of stars in S0 galaxies consists mainly of aging stars, very similar to the star population in elliptical galaxies.

S0 galaxies have ill-defined spiral arms and are easily mistaken for elliptical galaxies if they're seen inclined face-on or edge-on such as IC 335. Despite the morphological differences between S0 and elliptical class galaxies, both share some common characteristics like typical sizes and spectral features.

Both of these classes of galaxy are defined as "early-type," meaning they're most likely to be passively evolving. Researchers believe most elliptical galaxies have experienced violent encounters with other galaxies in their past.

S0 galaxies, on the other hand, are most likely either "aging or fading" spiral galaxies that have never had interactions with other galaxies or are aging due to a single immersion of two spiral galaxies.

Currently, researchers are still debating over the exact nature of mysterious galaxies.

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