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No. 107: Sep-Oct 1996

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An Old Galaxy In A Young Part Of The Universe

As the Hubble Space Telscope has probed ever farther toward the supposed edge of the universe, it has discerned. as expected, many youthful-looking galaxies. Since such deep-viewing telescopes are thought to be looking far back into time as well as space, youthful galaxies are not only expected but demanded by the Big-Bang/expanding universe theory. Unfortunately for theory, these telescopes have also identified a handful of apparently very old galaxies cavorting amidst the youthful ones!

"The problem, if conventional cosmological models are correct, is that galaxies that old and that far away simply should not be there. The observation tightens the thumbscrews on the Einstein-de Sitter cosmological model, and offers evidence that at least some galaxies formed at very early epochs, within a billion years after the Big Bang."

(Kennicutt, Robert C., Jr.; "An Old Galaxy in a Young Universe," Nature, 381:555, 1996)

Comment. A similar age discrepancy has been claimed for some galaxies that seem to harbor stars older than the universe itself! (SF#97)

Reference. The subject of galaxy distribution is covered in Chapter AWO in the Catalog: Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. For a description of the book, visit here.

From Science Frontiers #107, SEP-OCT 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss