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On April 29, 2016, NASA announced it discovered something incredible "hiding in the night sky."

Hanging out just over 110 million light-years away is UGC 477 — the latest galaxy spotted by Hubble Space Telescope.


Photo by ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt.

UGC 477 isn't just any old galaxy. It could serve as an invaluable learning tool for NASA in the years ahead — especially when it comes to solving one of the great mysteries of our universe.

Here are four fascinating tidbits you should know about our new galactic (very distant) neighbor, UGC 477:

1. UGC 477 is in the constellation Pisces.

Are you one of those compassionate, gentle souls born between Feb. 19 and March 20? Well UGC 477 might have a special place in your Pisces heart, seeing as it calls the fish-inspired constellation home.

An artist's illustration of Pisces, one of the largest constellations in our night sky. Photo via iStock.

The constellation Pisces is big — the 14th largest constellation of the 88 in our sky — but it can be surprisingly easy to miss. The space objects that comprise Pisces generally aren't all that bright, so UGC 477 actually fits in perfectly there.

2. It's amazing we even spotted UGC 477 because galaxies like UGC 477 are very difficult to spot.

Because it's a low surface brightness galaxy (LSB) — a concept first proposed by astrophysicist Mike Disney back in 1976 — UGC 477's matter is diffused over a large area, unlike our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

This epic photo, taken in Afghanistan in 2011, captured the Milky Way in all of its glory. Photo by Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images.

Because of its more diffused state, galaxies like UGC 477 have surface brightness up to 250 timesfainter than the night sky. This, of course, makes them "incredibly difficult to detect,"NASA notes.

3. You won't find too many stars in UGC 477, relatively speaking.

Unlike many other galaxies, the centers of LSBs aren't filled with stars. Instead, you'll find lots of hydrogen gas.

This gorgeous shot, taken in 2002, shows a cold, dark hydrogen cloud cradling newly formed stars in the constellation Sagittarius. Photo via NASA/Getty Images.

LSB galaxies typically hang out far away from other galaxy clusters. Because of this, one theory suggests that the matter within these galaxies has had less galactic interactions with other spatial bodies, and those interactions are what cause high rates of star formation.

4. UGC 477 may be a great learning tool for NASA in the years ahead because it appears to hold a ton of mysterious dark matter.

UGC 477 appears "to be dominated by dark matter," according to NASA. And that means it's an excellent spatial object for study to get a better understanding of the somewhat spooky-sounding substance.

Nobel Prize winner George F. Smoot strikes a pose in front of the Planck telescope flight model, which studies dark matter and radiation from the Big Bang. Photo by ESA/S. Corvaja via Getty Images.

As NASA explained, we know much more about what dark matter is not than what it actually is. The elusive matter isn't visible in the form of, say, stars or planets but makes up an estimated 27% of our universe. (Seriously, dark matter is super weird.)

UGC 477 is just the latest feather in Hubble's huge cap.

The telescope has long been a reliable source for space nerds everywhere, bringing jaw-dropping imagery and game-changing data to our computer screens. But it seems like recently Hubble's been especially killing it — from those mind-boggling images from our galactic neighbor Andromeda to uncovering the truth behind a massive star collision happening 230 million light-years away.

Now, we've spotted a hidden gem that may help us unlock some of the biggest mysteries our universe has in store.

Thanks, Hubble (we owe you one).


Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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