Although scientific advances over the last century have been incredible, it’s easy to forget that we are still regularly making key discoveries. Some of these seem like they should be obvious, but take some time (whether it’s due to manpower, improvements in technology to measure, or just plain dumb luck). One great example is the recent discovery of the galaxy Crater 2.
Crater 2 is a dwarf galaxy that orbits around our Milky Way. Of course, being a galaxy it’s rather large, so it’s puzzling at first to note how it hadn’t been detected before. Size is not an issue, as explained by the authors of the discovery. “"Given its half-light radius of ∼1100 pc, Crater 2 is the fourth largest satellite of the Milky Way, surpassed only by the LMC, SMC and the Sgr dwarf."
It’s also relatively close to us compared to other large entities in the cosmos. So why did it take so long to discover? One prevailing opinion is that Crater 2 is relatively dark, which makes it hard to detect. It’s been dubbed “The Feeble Giant” as a result. It’s also important to keep in mind the advances in technology that allow such new discoveries to take place. In the case of Crater 2, the discovery was made thanks to a large telescope stationed in Chile. With further advances and more funding, scientists can hopefully make many future discoveries that better pinpoint what surrounds us in the cosmos. It’s a worthwhile endeavor to pursue.