Skywatch

  • April 1, 2010

    Episode 268: Jurassic Galaxies

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    Astronomers know that in the early universe, small galaxies merge to form larger ones. Observations of distant galaxies are difficult and tricky to decipher. Fortunately a group of galaxies, called the Hickson Compact Group 31, was observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, and astronomers found evidence that these galaxies are just forming, as if they were located in the early universe. The conclusions were confirmed with observations from the Spitzer Infrared Telescope, SWIFT and other observatories. This discovery is akin to finding a dinosaur in our backyard ? we can see the early days up close.