Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Ultra-diffuse galaxies on the run

Cosmological simulation TNG50 reveals that a recently discovered population of isolated but non-star-forming ultra-diffuse galaxies may have been gas-rich satellites of much more massive galaxies in the distant past.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: An ultra-diffuse galaxy evolves as it travels along an unbound backsplash orbit.

adapted with permission from ref. 3, Springer Nature Ltd.


  1. Dressler, A. Astrophys. J. 236, 351–365 (1980).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Baldry, I. K. et al. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 373, 469–483 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Benavides, J. A. et al. Nat. Astron. (2021).

  4. van Dokkum, P. G. et al. Astrophys. J. Lett. 798, L45 (2015).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Bovy, J. & Rix, H. Astrophys. J. 779, 115–144 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Sandage, A. & Binggeli, B. Astron. J. 89, 919–931 (1984).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Martínez-Delgado, D. et al. Astron. J. 151, 96–108 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Román, J., Beasley, M. A., Ruiz-Lara, T. & Valls-Gabaud, D. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 486, 823–835 (2019).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Prole, D. J., van der Burg, R. F. J., Hilker, M. & Spitler, L. R. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 500, 2049–2062 (2021).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Croton, D. J. et al. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 365, 11–28 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Geha, M., Blanton, M. R., Yan, R. & Tinker, J. L. Astrophys. J. 757, 85–92 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Geha, M., Blanton, M. R., Masjedi, M. & West, A. A. Astrophys. J. 653, 240–254 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. Balogh, M. L., Navarro, J. F. & Morris, S. L. Astrophys. J. 540, 113–121 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. Gunn, J. E. & Gott, J. R. Astrophys. J. 176, 1–19 (1972).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anna C. Wright.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wright, A.C. Ultra-diffuse galaxies on the run. Nat Astron 5, 1208–1209 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing