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Thirteen dwarf galaxies are playing a cosmic-scale game of Ring Around Andromeda, forming an enormous structure astronomers have never seen before and are hard-pressed to explain with current theories of how galaxies form and evolve.
According to current theories, the small galaxies, which contain as many as a few tens of billions of stars each, should be randomly arranged around the Andromeda galaxy.
Instead, they orbit Andromeda within a plane more than 1 million light-years across and about 30,000 light-years thick. For comparison, the latest estimates of Andromeda's girth put its diameter at more than 220,000 light-years.
The Christian Science Monitor (s.tt...)
Originally posted by dainoyfb
reply to post by IkNOwSTuff
It's a near infrared image. It looks a bit odd because the light is invisible to human eyes so the astronomers choose arbitrary visible colors to represent the intensity of the NIR light.