Something unusual has been discovered by the astronomers about a faint blue coloured galaxy which is situated about 30 million light years away from the Earth and is located in the constellation "Leo Minor". The new findings could reveal more about the birth of the universe. A galaxy nicknamed Leoncino or "little lion" has the lowest level of heavy chemical elements or ‘metals’ ever observed in a gravitationally bound system of stars. This was observed by the astronomers from Indiana University (IU).
"Finding the most metal-poor galaxy ever is exciting since it can help contribute to a quantitative test of the Big Bang," said professor John J. Salzer from IU's Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences.
Low-metal galaxies are one of the most promising ways to explore conditions during the Big Bang, though there are very few ways. The current model of the birth of the universe which has been accepted predicts clearly about how much helium and hydrogen was present during the Big Bang. A direct test of the model is obtained from the ratio of these atoms in metal-poor galaxies. These low metal galaxies could be found far from the Earth.
The high level of heavier elements that were created by "stellar processing," in which stars produce heavier elements, make our Milky Way galaxy a poor source of data. "Low metal abundance is essentially a sign that very little stellar activity has taken place compared to most galaxies," added Alec S Hirschauer, graduate student in a paper appeared the Astrophysical Journal.
"Local universe" is a region of space located within about one billion light years from Earth and it is estimated that it contains several million galaxies. Leoncino, unique in several ways apart from containing low levels of heavier elements, is considered the member of "Local universe".
The "dwarf galaxy," is only about 1,000 light years in diameter. It is composed of several million stars. The Milky Way has an estimated 200 billion to 400 billion stars. "We're eager to continue to explore this mysterious galaxy," Salzer noted.