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ASTRONOMERS FIND NEW NEW `LOCAL' GALAXY.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, at least for galaxies. Astronomers have discovered a new, faint galaxy circling our own.

The finding brings the number of galaxies in our celestial neighborhood - known as the ``Local Group'' - to about 30.

The new galaxy lies about 3 million light years away, in the southern constellation of Antlia. Its discoverers have thus named it the Antlia Galaxy.

Mike Irwin of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England, along with graduate students Alan Whiting and George Hau of the University of Cambridge, announced the discovery last week at a British meeting of astronomers in Southampton, England.

The astronomers say the Antlia Galaxy may tell them how the Local Group formed and evolved over time. The new galaxy is of a type known as a dwarf galaxy because it is faint and small - unlike the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, the two local giants.

``Despite their unassuming appearance, dwarf galaxies hold the key to many questions about the formation, structure and evolution of galaxies,'' Irwin said.

The scientists discovered the new galaxy by studying pictures of faint, fuzzy objects no one had yet identified.
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 22, 1997
Words:189
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