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Space Science

Nearby Galaxy Surprisingly Young 63

Posted by michael
from the fake-id dept.
Pi_0's don't shower writes "The hubblesite is reporting that a galaxy discovered 70 years ago, I Zwicky 18, has been confirmed to be one of the youngest galaxies in the universe, at only 500 million years old. By contrast, our Milky Way, Andromeda, and most other nearby galaxies are 12 billion years old. This galaxy is the closest newly-formed galaxy, at only 45 million light years away, which has rather interesting implications for galaxy formation."
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Nearby Galaxy Surprisingly Young

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:11AM (#10983714)
    If you think about systematically studying people, you can group them according to various similar characteristics -- all those with gray hair over here, all those with bald heads there, all those who are very small, etc.

    Then, you can try to look for connections between these groups -- you don't have to live out an entire 100 years and watch them change in order to develop a theory about their characteristics and how they relate to each other. By studying some of the subtle changes over a year's time, you can get some clues.

    In the same way, we see stars in all different colors, etc., and brightness and we piece it together as to their relationship. We don'thave to wait a 100 Million years. One can say that the theory is a myth (a story that we tell ourselves) but the crucial thing is that it is myth which makes many predictions as to what we should see if we made additional observations. The predictions can be independently examined by many different groups of people and their predicted observations found or not. It is that characteristic of being a myth that accurately predicts other information that we then confirm to be the case that makes us willing to consider it true (this is almost a definition of truth) even though we haven't waited around the billions and billions of years to witness it.
  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@@@netzero...net> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:51AM (#10983839) Homepage Journal
    Not bad from an AC. This should be modded up.

    What I was trying to point out (unfortunately not too clearly) was that in addition to this sort of classification, we have seen some glimpses of stellar transitions to help confirm the theories. And when new scientific tools come around and used in astronomy, the results tend to confirm rather than debunk the stellar evolution theories. You know that you have a solid scientific theory when it gets confirmation from addition kinds of observations, and better yet if you make a prediction of some future result that actually shows up (like how black holes were described mathmatically before they were actually observed.)

    This is exactly the problem with Cold Fusion (to give a current scientific theory that is strongly questioned at the moment), because that theory tends to get conflicting results based on how you are measuring the effect, or even who is doing the measurement. It is almost an embaressment to mention Cold Fusion and Stellar Evolution in the same sentance, because the theories of star development have so much of a sound theory behind them that it is more like the yardstick to compare other scientific theories to.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

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