National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Surprising Discovery of a Rare “Emerald-Cut” Galaxy

| Science

An international team of astronomers has discovered a rare, rectangular-shaped galaxy that has a striking resemblance to an emerald-cut diamond. While using the Subaru Prime Focus Camera to look for globular clusters of stars swarming around NGC 1407, a bright, giant galaxy in the Constellation Eridanus, the researchers discovered an unusually shaped dwarf galaxy toward the edge of their image. The lead author of the paper describing the research, Professor Alister Graham, said, “It's one of those things that just makes you smile because it shouldn't exist, or rather, you don't expect it to exist.” Its discovery allows astronomers to obtain useful information for modeling other galaxies.