No. 12: Fall 1980
The photographic enhancement of plates taken by the UK Schmidt and Anglo-Australian telescopes has revealed that several normal elliptical galaxies are surrounded by shell-like structures. D.F. Malin and D. Carter report that these envelopes are vast -- up to 180 kiloparsecs in diameter. Furthermore, some galaxies are wrapped in a series of thin shells. Malin and Carter believe that the colossal shells are really thin layers of stars either created by a powerful shock wave during galaxy formation or comprised of a debris layer of old stars blown out of the galaxy during some cataclysmic event.
(Malin, David F., and Carter, David; "Giant Shells around Normal Elliptical Galaxies," Nature, 285:643, 1980.)
Comment. This article typifies the emergence of "catastrophic astronomy" which contrasts sharply with the older vision of a leisurely evolution of stars and galaxies.