facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Astronomers discover unusual dwarf galaxy

April 30, 2009 at 5:02 PM   |   Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. astronomer says he discovered a galaxy in which gas is distributed over a much larger area than researchers expected to find.

Macalester College Professor John Cannon said the "giant disk" dwarf galaxy he discovered has the largest size difference between stars and gas of any known galaxy. That finding, he said, is important for furthering the understanding of how galaxies form and how they remain stable over time.

Cannon said data from the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and the Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico show the galaxy -- named "ADBS1138" -- has a very small and compact stellar component.

"Because the stars are so compact, we expected to see a system that has a similarly compact gaseous disk," said Cannon. "To our surprise, the gaseous disk is enormous -- some 44 times larger than the size of the galaxy as seen in stars."

The research by Cannon, Jessica Rosenberg of George Mason University and John Salzer of Indiana University is to appear in the May 10 edition of The Astrophysical Journal.

Topics: John Cannon
© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
5
Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback