News of the WeekAstronomy

Signs of MACHOs in a Far-Off Galaxy

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Science  04 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5454, pp. 779
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5454.779

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In a recent study, a galaxy being used as a so-called gravitational lens turned out to be more interesting than the quasar under examination. The radio signal focused by the lens--a normal spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way but 3.5 billion light-years from Earth--appeared to flicker. This odd behavior, the astronomers believe, is caused by compact, dark objects in a halo surrounding the lensing galaxy.