Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ghost Galaxies: A Cosmic Riddle

See this lovely image? Any guesses as to what you are looking at? (Hint: It"s not the Hubble Ultra Deep Field or any similar image) What may look like nothing, for all intents and purposes, is actually a full blown galaxy -- with a twist. This galaxy is almost lacking in stars entirely.

You see.. There are ghosts all around us, that is, assuming your definition of a ghost extends to extremely faint galaxies with very few stars; and by very few, I do mean very few. You could probably count the number of stars in these galaxies within minutes, as these galaxies contain hundreds, or maybe a couple thousands, of stars. That’s right, we are talking about numbers 3 or 4 digits long -- numbers that probably resemble your bank account. (In contrast, our galaxy - the Milky Way - contains an estimated 4 billion stars) These so-called "ghost galaxies" have intrigued astronomers for several years now.

But maybe not for the reasons you"d think: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/ghost-galaxies-a-cosmic-riddle/

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and T. Brown (STScI)

No comments:

Post a Comment