noaoann05028 — Announcement
14 December 2005
More than half of the largest galaxies in the nearby universe have collided and merged with another galaxy in the past two billion years, according to a new study using hundreds of images from two of the deepest sky surveys ever conducted.
The idea of large galaxies being assembled primarily by mergers rather than evolving by themselves in isolation has grown to dominate cosmological thinking. However, a troubling inconsistency within this general theory has been that the most massive galaxies appear to be the oldest, leaving minimal time since the Big Bang for the mergers to have occurred.