Galaxies - Glittering Lights - Marco Lorenzi
all rights reserved Marco Lorenzi
Powered by SmugMug Log In
Sculptor and Fornax dwarfs in perspective

Sculptor and Fornax dwarfs in perspective

The Sculptor and The Fornax Dwarf are satellites of the Milky Way that were both discovered by Harlow Shapley in 1937 and 1938 respectively.
These galaxies are dwarf Spheroidal (dSph) and generally accepted as among the 'darkest' galaxies known, with mass-to-light ratios exceeding 100 or more in some cases.

The Sculptor Dwarf contains only 4 percent of the carbon and other heavy elements in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, making it similar to primitive galaxies seen at the edge of the universe. The Sculptor only made stars for the first 2-3 billion years of its life and its most metal-rich stars reach only to 1/10th of the solar metallicity, whereas Fornax made stars for the best of 10 billion years, reaching up to 1/3 of the solar metallicity.

These galaxies have extremely low surface brightness yet cover a large area of sky. In this comparison image I added a picture of the full Moon reduced to the same scale to display how large the apparent sizes of these galaxies are.