NEW YORK — Astronomers have discovered a galaxy virtually in their own back yard, hidden behind the fuzzy streak the ancient Greeks dubbed the Milky Way.
The galaxy is 10 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, said researcher Ofer Lahav of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University in England.
With astronomers spending so much effort looking at the far reaches of the universe, "it's kind of remarkable that still there is a big galaxy like this one hidden just behind our own Milky Way," Lahav said.
Lahav and colleagues report in today's issue of the journal Nature that they detected the galaxy by its radio wave emissions.
Lahav said it contains about one-third the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, which includes Earth.