Astronomers have discovered a new star system at the edge of the Milky Way as part of the Kilodegree Survey (KiDS). The system, called Sextance II, is likely an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy. This discovery is reported in his article published on November 10th on the preprint server arXiv. KiDS is a large-scale multiband photometric survey using his VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Although KiDS focuses on the large-scale structure of the Universe, it can also detect extragalactic star systems with low surface brightness. A team of astronomers led by Massimiliano Gatto from the Capodimonte Observatory in Naples, Italy, decided to use the latest release of KiDS DR4 data to conduct a large-scale search for unknown dark star systems.
As a result of their research, the researchers discovered a star system located approximately 473,000 light-years from us. The astronomer named this system his KiDS-UFD-1 and named it Sextans II. The data collected suggests that Sextans II is relatively small. Its half-light radius is approximately 629 light-years, and its mass is estimated to be 4910 times the mass of the Sun. This system has a metallicity of -1.5 degrees, an ellipticity of 0.46, and is at least 10 billion years old. The results suggest that Sextans II is a weak, ancient, metal-poor star system, the authors said. The researchers concluded that the system is a faint globular satellite of the Milky Way, and likely an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy. However, researchers have not ruled out the possibility that Sextance II is a collapsed globular cluster. Scientists say further research is needed to confirm the true nature of this system. “The final word on the nature of this system can only be said through appropriate spectroscopic observations of a suitable sample of member stars,” the researchers wrote.