August 27, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Multispectral Galaxy Studies Contradict Theories

The latest issue of Caltech’s magazine Engineering and Science1 has beautiful pictures of galaxies taken in ultraviolet by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), and in the infrared by Hubble’s sister, the Spitzer Space Telescope.  Combining images of the same galaxy in visible, ultraviolet and infrared is helping astronomers figure out their structure, and as D. Christopher Martin claims, the origin and evolution of galaxies and stars.  Why, then, at the end of the article, does he say this?

The interesting thing is that the history we have measured completely disagrees with some of the most recent models.

He had just pointed out that “our early results seem to be telling us that star formation was much more vigorous in the past” and that “something has changed very radically about star formation since that time….”
    Whatever; discovery marches on.  “We have found many other interesting things, and we have only just begun to survey the sky.  As our own team and other astronomers explore the data, we look forward to many other discoveries in the future.”


1D. Christopher Martin, “Galaxy Evolution: The View from the Ultraviolet,” Engineering and Science (LXVII:2, 2004), pp. 8-15

We like the pictures, and we like the data, but if the model is going in the wrong direction, we’d rather use a different mode of transportation more likely to arrive at the destination.

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Categories: Astronomy, Cosmology

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