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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Busted: Astronomers Nab Culprit in Galactic Hit-and-Run
"The Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral to the Milky Way, appears calm and tranquil as it wheels through space. But appearances can be deceiving. Astronomers have new evidence that Andromeda was involved in a violent head-on collision with the neighboring dwarf galaxy Messier 32 (M32) more than 200 million years ago.
'Like a CSI team, we gathered clues and reconstructed the scene of the crime,' said Pauline Barmby (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), a member of the research group that made the discovery. 'The evidence clearly shows that M32 is guilty of committing a hit-and-run.' "

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