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With the prospect of finding dozens of new dwarf systems in our Local Group of galaxies, an international team of researchers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II) has moved the count ahead with the discovery of seven - and perhaps eight - new satellites of the Milky Way.
"Cold dark matter models predict that there should be tens to hundreds more dwarf galaxies in the Local Group than have been observed, if all dark matter halos are lit up with stars," explains Dan Zucker, a member of the team from Cambridge University. "In less than a year, we have used SDSS-II data to find seven new Milky Way dwarf satellites. We've just discovered an eighth new dwarf, but we're not sure this one is a Milky Way satellite."
"We've found almost as many new Milky Way satellites as were detected in the previous 70 years," says Zucker's co-investigator Vasily Belokurov, also of Cambridge.