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Dark spaces could change the way we think about galaxies

By looking at the dark spaces between visible galaxies and stars the NASA/JPL CIBER sounding rocket experiment has produced data that could redefine what constitutes a galaxy.
December 22, 2014
This is a time-lapse photograph of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, taken from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. The image is from the last of four launches. Image Credit:  T. Arai/University of Tokyo

This is a time-lapse photograph of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, taken from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. The image is from the last of four launches. Image Credit: T. Arai/University of Tokyo

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"We think stars are being scattered out into space during galaxy collisions," said Zemcov.

Dark spaces could change the way we think about galaxies

By looking at the dark spaces between visible galaxies and stars, the NASA/JPL CIBER sounding rocket experiment has produced data that could redefine what constitutes a galaxy.

CIBER, the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, is designed to understand the physics going on between visible stars and galaxies.

Dark Spaces
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Unusual Light in Dark Space Revealed by Los Alamos, NASA

Images of the night sky recorded in the near-infrared wavelength revealed some surprises for researchers, notably the brightness of many fluctuations that appear between stars and galaxies. These fluctuations are having us rethink what goes on between stars and galaxies.

The data suggest that galaxies shed many more of their stars into the intervening space than was originally thought.


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