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The galaxy NGC 178 may be small, but it packs quite a punch. Measuring around 40,000 light-years across, its diameter is less than half that of the Milky Way, and it is accordingly classified as a dwarf galaxy. Despite its diminutive size, NGC 178 is busy forming new stars. On average, the galaxy forms stars totaling around half the mass of the Sun per year—enough to label it a starburst galaxy.
The galaxy's discovery is an interesting, and somewhat confusing, story. It was originally discovered by American astronomer Ormond Stone in 1885 and dubbed NGC 178, but its position in the sky was recorded incorrectly—by accident the value for the galaxy's right ascension (which can be...
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