The odd galaxy, called NGC 1277, doesn't appear to have evolved much in the past 10 billion years, a new study reports. Learning about its history should shed light on galaxy formation and evolution in general, study team members said.
NGC 1277, which is located about 240 million light-years away from Earth, is called a "red and dead" galaxy because it doesn't have enough fuel to produce new stars. That wasn't always the case, however. Shortly after the galaxy was formed, it produced stars 1,000 times faster than they are formed today in our Milky Way, the researchers said. [Gallery: 65 All-Time Great Galaxy Hits]
Credit: M. Beasley(Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)/NASA/ESA
Astronomers think the key to NGC 1277's development lies in its globular clusters, which are groups of stars. Large galaxies typically have two types of clusters: metal poor, which appear blue, and metal rich, which appear red. (In astronomical parlance, a metal is any elemen...