Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has spotted a a mysterious, solitary dwarf galaxy - a type that is smaller and messier than its cosmic cousins and lacks the majestic swirl of a spiral or the coherence of an elliptical. HST has earlier recorded some of the most detailed visible-light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Its observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics. What’s so surprising about galaxy UGC 4879 is it consists of a scattered drizzle of stars, and is very isolated.
There are about 2.3 million light years between UGC 4879 and its closest neighbour, Leo A, which is about the same distance as that between the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
Its isolation means that the galaxy has not interacted with any surrounding galaxies which makes it an ideal laboratory for studying star formation.
Studies of UGC 4879 have showed a significant amount of star formation in the first four billion years after the Big Bang, followed by a strange nine-billion-year lull in star formation that ended one billion years ago by a more recent re-ignition.
Though the reason behind its mysterious isolation still remains to be uncovered. It continues to provide ample study material for astronomers looking to decode the complexities of star birth throughout the universe.