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Science Briefing

Minimum mass for galaxies seen

August 30, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

UC Irvine astronomers believe they have discovered the minimum mass for galaxies in the universe: 10 million times the mass of the sun.

The team analyzed 18 dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, expecting to find a wide variation in sizes. Instead, they reported Thursday in the journal Nature, they found that all were the same size, suggesting that is the minimum mass needed for creation of a galaxy.

Because the dwarf galaxies are composed primarily of dark matter, they suggested that the minimum mass is the size of the smallest known "building block" of dark matter.

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