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Ron Masters

Messier 87

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Dwarf Galaxy Gives Giant Surprise

01/23/2005 12:00AM

Dwarf Galaxy Gives Giant Surprise

An astronomer studying small irregular galaxies discovered a remarkable feature in one galaxy that may provide key clues to understanding how galaxies form and the relationship between the gas and the stars within galaxies.


The photo suggests structure to the surrounding hydrogen cloud: 1) a spinning disk and 2) areas of slightly differing densities resembling "arms".<br><br>What may be missing is a "density wave" moving through the matter (i.e., hydrogen cloud) which is already gravitationally contained. <br><br>Clearly, there are spirals with "arms" which appear only tenuously connceted to the central bulge. In those cases, a density wave is almost always verifyably present.<br><br>Lastly, there is likely some interaction at the nebulous boundary between the rotating neutral hydrogen cloud and the dwarf galaxy at the center of the photo. Possibly a "slow" inflow of gas into the galaxy -- similar to the canabalistic activity between the Milky Way and the LMC. <br><br>8O 8O 8O 8O

Could this discovery help with the dark matter question?