Say Hello To One Of Our Neighbors, Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy

This elusive galaxy sits only 280,000 light-years from Earth.

Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) are taking a new, up-close look at one of our most elusive neighbors: the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy.

Located some 280,000 light-years from Earth in the Sculptor constellation, the dwarf galaxy can easily be mistaken for a simple cloud of faint stars. But on Sept. 16, the ESO released a new moving image (above) of the dwarf galaxy, showing its ghostly stars in all of their glory.

The image was taken by the 2.2-meter telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

The Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy was first spotted in the late 1930s by American astronomer Harlow Shapley (1885-1972). It's home to ancient stars that have remarkably similar chemical make-up to the oldest stars in our Milky Way.

Now astronomers are hoping to examine the dwarf galaxy's stars to learn more about the earliest periods of star formation. Twinkle, twinkle.

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