Discover a “brand new” dwarf galaxy: Donatiello II

Can you see the fuzzy grain of stars in the center of the space photo of the week? This nearby dwarf galaxy was recently discovered.

The dwarf galaxy was named Donatiello II. Good to know: This dwarf galaxy is apparently so hard to see that a special computer algorithm – developed to find galaxies – missed the dwarf galaxy. In the end, Donatiello II was found the old-fashioned way: by people digging into the data themselves. So you see, even computers can be beaten.

The photo below was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Donatiello II can be seen right in the middle. Donatiello II is not the most unusual dwarf galaxy in the universe. It is a group of many small stars with a number of larger ones. A faint glow is visible around these stars.

Do you see the dwarf galaxy? Click on the image to enlarge.

The dwarf galaxy is named after Giuseppe Donatiello, an accomplished amateur astronomer who extensively analyzed data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). In addition to Donatiello II, he also found two other faint dwarf galaxies, which he also named after him: Donatiello III and Donatiello IV. In addition to six nearby dwarf galaxies, Donatiello also spotted several planetary nebulae. Moreover, the Italian is also an astrophotographer, so if you are curious about his images, then take a look at

The three dwarf galaxies are satellite galaxies of NGC 253, also known as the Sculptor Galaxy. The VLT Survey Telescope captured an amazing image of this galaxy in 2011. NGC 253 is over eleven million light-years from Earth. That’s pretty close to cosmic standards. So close that even individual stars are visible.

Haven’t finished looking yet? More distant galaxies are visible in the Hubble image of Donatiello II. Can you find them all?

Over the past few decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, stellar nurseries, and planets. Every weekend, we retrieve one or more impressive space photos from the archives. Enjoy all the photos? Check them out on this page.

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