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Astronomers investigate chemical composition of a nearby star-forming dwarf galaxy

June 29, 2020 / Tomasz Nowakowski

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have probed the chemical composition of a nearby metal-poor star-forming dwarf galaxy known as JKB 18. Results of the new observations indicate that the galaxy is chemically inhomogeneous. The study was published June 18 on the arXiv pre-print server.

Studies of spatial distribution of metals in the gas throughout galaxies could be essential to improve our understanding of galaxy evolution in general. However, obtaining detailed spectroscopic information required to analyze spatial distribution of metals and chemical homogeneity of the first galaxies is limited with currently available instruments. Therefore, astronomers are trying to investigate nearby low-metallicity star-forming galaxies as they can serve as analogs of complex systems formed in the early universe.

Located at a distance of just 59 million light years away, JKB 18 is one of such galaxies. It is a low-metallicity dwarf galaxy with a s...