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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.


Comments:

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?