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Space Science

Teenager Makes Discovery About Galaxy Distribution 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-lined-up dept.
Janek Kozicki writes "It has been long thought that dwarf galaxies orbiting Andromeda galaxy (M31), or any other galaxy for that matter, are distributed more or less randomly around the host galaxy. It seemed so obvious in fact that nobody took time to check this assumption. Until a 15-year-old student, Neil Ibata, working with his father at the astronomic observatory, wanted to check it out. It turned out that dwarf galaxies tend to be placed on a plane around M31. The finding has been published in Nature. Local press (especially in France) is ecstatic that a finding by a 15-year-old got published in Nature. However, there's another more important point: what other obvious things didn't we really bother to check?"
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Teenager Makes Discovery About Galaxy Distribution

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  • Not *that* ecstatic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:57PM (#42499319)

    Actually, since the boy has stated in interviews that he wants to leave France and go to college abroad, the press is not that ecstatic. And at least some papers have pointed out that the boy was somehow lucky (even though he most probably is a bright kid).

  • Re:Physics.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @07:49PM (#42499631) Journal

    This actually still up in the air, we still don't understand the galactic halo, distribution of dark matter and why the rotational velocity of the outer galaxy is so fast. So Where the visible matter in a galaxy is, is far less important that where all that other matter is, and what's causing the dwarf galaxies to do what they do has virtually nothing to do with the galactic disk.

  • Re:Physics.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @08:15PM (#42499783)

    Yes, a truly dizzying fact that in space ithings have this uncanny tendency to spin. So you might have a satellite spining around its axis, then the satellite spinning around host planet, the planet spinning around a star, the star around the galactic core or a local cluster of stars, and the galaxy itelf spinning around a bigger galaxy or local cluster of galaxies, and so forth. I remember one "scientist" postulate that the only thing that doesn't spin is the universe itself because nobody has found any evidence to indicate a "universal" spin.

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