New research on dwarf spheroidal galaxies by a team of astronomers at the University of Cambridge promises a real astronomical first: detection, for the first time, of the true outer limits of a galaxy.
The team is presenting today (23 July 2003) at the 25th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAUXXV) in Sydney, Australia. The research could provide the key to understanding how larger galaxies were formed, including our own Milky Way galaxy.
The rare dwarf spheroidal galaxies display few stars but contain massive amounts of "dark matter" or matter that does not emit radiation that can be observed by astronomers. The team studied these galaxies in detail using some of the largest optical telescopes on earth in order to probe their dark secrets. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are widely believed to be the building blocks from which galaxies were formed.
Laura Morgan | alfa
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