Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Andromeda's Stellar Sprawl

Big surprise. . The classic starry disk of Andromeda (left, and central red section on right) extends far deeper into space than astronomers thought (yellow and green, right).
CREDIT: NOAO/AURA/NSF (left); R. Ibata et al./Isaac Newton Telescope (right)

The results are convincing but hard to understand, says astronomer Wallace Sargent of Caltech, who was not part of the study. "I find it very impressive, but I didn't expect to see ordered motion so far out," he says. Some unknown influence must settle the orbits and make them persist for billions of years, Sargent says.

article in Science Now

Galactic neighbour gets supersized in Nature News.

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