The international team, including many astronomers from the University of Cambridge, discovered the faint galaxy when examining data from Gaia’s telescope.
Named Antlia 2, or Ant 2 for short, the galaxy has managed to avoid detection until now due to its extremely low density – as well as being hidden behind the shroud of the Milky Way’s disk.
It is known as a dwarf galaxy, one of the first types of galaxies to emerge in the early universe.
Dwarf galaxy stars are old and quite low in mass and metal.
However compared to other dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, Ant 2 is truly enormous – about a third of the size of the Milky Way itself.
It is also eerily faint, according to normal measurements.