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L

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RE: Compact Galaxies
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Seeing the compact sizes of these galaxies is a puzzle. No massive galaxy at this distance has ever been observed to be so compact. These galaxies would have to change a lot over 11 billion years, growing five times bigger. They could get larger by colliding with other galaxies, but such collisions may not be the complete answer. It is not yet clear how they would build themselves up to become the large galaxies we see today - Pieter G. van Dokkum of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, who led the study.

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Imagine receiving an announcement touting the birth of a baby 20 inches long and weighing 180 pounds. After reading this puzzling message, you would immediately think the baby's weight was a misprint.
Astronomers looking at galaxies in the universe's distant past received a similar perplexing announcement when they found nine young, compact galaxies, each weighing in at 200 billion times the mass of the Sun. The galaxies, each only 5,000 light-years across, are a fraction of the size of today's grownup galaxies but contain approximately the same number of stars. Each galaxy could fit inside the central hub of our Milky Way Galaxy.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 18:16, 2008-04-29

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