Hubble peers into the mouth of Leo A
|The nearby dwarf galaxy Leo A [Credit: ESA/Hubble |
& NASA/Judy Schmidt]
As it turns out, Leo A is a rather unusual galaxy. It is one of the most isolated galaxies in the Local Group, has no obvious structural features beyond being a roughly spherical mass of stars, and shows no evidence for recent interactions with any of its few neighbors. However, the galaxy's contents are overwhelmingly dominated by relatively young stars, something that would normally be the result of a recent interaction with another galaxy. Around 90% of the stars in Leo A are less than eight billion years old—young in cosmic terms! This raises a number of intriguing questions about why star formation in Leo A did not take place on the "usual" timescale, but instead waited until it was good and ready.
Source: NASA [April 16, 2016]