Washington: A new data produced by looking at the dark spaces between visible galaxies and stars the NASA/JPL Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) that could redefine what galaxy really constitutes.
Los Alamos scientist Joseph Smidt, part of the data analysis team that studied the data from CIBER, said that what was very surprising was the brightness of many fluctuations that appear between stars and galaxies and these fluctuations were having them rethink what went on between stars and galaxies.
Smidt added that the data suggested that galaxies shed many more of their stars into the intervening space than was originally thought.
CIBER is designed to understand the physics going on between visible stars and galaxies. The relatively small, suborbital rocket unloads a camera that snaps pictures of the night sky in near-infrared wavelengths, between 1.2 and 1.6 millionth of a meter.
Michael Zemcov, an astronomer at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that they thought that stars were being scattered out into space during galaxy collisions and while they had previously observed cases where stars were flung from galaxies in a tidal stream, their new measurement implies this process is widespread.
The study is published in the journal Science.