Astronomers have made an exciting discovery using the Japanese Subaru Telescope. Scientists have discovered a new galaxy that has extremely low levels of oxygen present. According to the researchers, the galaxy has only 1.6% of the oxygen content of our galaxy.
The extremely low concentrations of oxygen present within the galaxy suggest that most of the stars in the galaxy formed recently, at least on a galactic scale. Finding galaxies in the early stage of formation using wide-field data is very difficult because the data contains up to 40 million objects.
The researchers developed a new machine learning method to help find galaxies from the vast amount of data. The computer was repeatedly taught to learn the galaxy colors from theoretical models and only select those galaxies in the early stage of formation, which is indicated by low oxygen. The name of the newly discovered galaxy is HSC J1631+4426.
Researchers also noted how rare it is to find galaxies in such an early stage of formation. The galaxy is one of 27 galaxies selected by the computer’s AI for follow-up observations that could be galaxies in the early formation stage. HSC J1631+4426 is about 430 million light-years away in the Hercules constellation.
Other details about the galaxy include that it is very small at 0.8 million solar masses, which is only about 1/100000 of the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s 1.6% oxygen abundance makes it the lowest recorded value ever. There is no indication given at this time of how old the galaxy might be, but galactic timescales are enormous compared to a human lifetime.