Magazine article Science News

Galaxies Far and Wide

Magazine article Science News

Galaxies Far and Wide

Article excerpt

Galaxies far and wide

By carefully recording the faint light surrounding a bright galaxy at the center of a dense cluster, a team of astronomers has uncovered evidence for pherhaps the largest and most luminous galaxy known. This gigantic agglaomeration of stars, which sits at the center of a rich galaxy cluster called Abell 2029, extends 6 million light-years in diameter (more than 60 times the width of the Milky Way) and emits more than a quarter of all the light produced by the entire cluster. Juan M. Uson of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, N.M., and his colleagues describe their discovery in the Oct. 26 SCIENCE.

"The central galaxy in Abell 2029 is remarkable for its size as well as the uniformity of its structure," they report. "Both of these characteristics suggest that its birth must have occurred during the initial formation of the cluster."

At the same time, astronomers working at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla telescope in Chile have discovered the most distant "normal" galaxy known so far. …

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