Newly Discovered Galaxy Is 4 Billion Light Years From Earth

This really is a galaxy far, far away.

— -- This really is a galaxy far, far away.

A hidden dwarf dark galaxy was discovered four billion light years away from Earth by astrophysicists at Stanford.

The dwarf galaxy appears as a "tiny halo companion of a much larger galaxy," according to researchers. A new paper about the discovery will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Using a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, researchers were able to learn about the dark dwarf galaxy by imaging the light from a neighboring galaxy.

The process could help researchers learn about other hidden parts of the universe. Most galaxies are believed to have similar dwarf galaxies, however detecting them has been a challenge until now, according to researchers. Of the estimated thousands of dwarf galaxies lurking near a companion galaxy, only 40 or so have been identified, according to the team at Stanford.