The tight grouping of these three quasars indicates that their host galaxies
must be in the early stages of merging, Djorgovski suggests.
The finding brings the number of galaxies
in our celestial neighborhood - known as the ``Local Group'' - to about 30.
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The dwarf galaxies
join 10 previously known, nearby, small-fry galaxies
, also called satellites, snared by the Milky Way.
By looking into deep space - and back in time - the team made direct observations of 23 galaxies
as they appeared soon after they formed, about 12.
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Stanek and his collaborators examined the home galaxies
of four gamma-ray bursts, including one of the same galaxies
studied by Fruchter's team, and recently posted their results online (http://xxx.
Yet in that space, astronomers reported counting 1,500 to 2,000 galaxies
start out as small, starry fragments that merge to become much bigger objects.
Although no one knows what dark matter is made of, researchers suspect that it's responsible for pulling galaxies
and galaxy clusters into the gargantuan, filamentary structures seen in the sky today.
Vast clouds of dark matter draw in gas from their surroundings, concentrating it into galaxies
containing billions of stars.
The two research teams studied galaxies
so distant that the light now arriving at telescopes reflects conditions of the galaxies
at least 12.
If Robert Minchin of Cardiff University in Wales and his colleagues are right, they have found the first member of a population of galaxies
that theorists have proposed but observers had never seen.
David Schiminovich stared at a gallery of spiral galaxies
as though he had never seen anything like them before.
Although he didn't get the faculty position he sought, he may have gotten something better: a clue that led him to uncover what may be one of the most telling relationships between supermassive black holes and the galaxies
in which they reside.