MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram illustrating how spectral lines give away galaxy distances. Astronomers have known for some time that there is a correlation between a galaxy’s spectrum and its distance from Earth. The further away the given galaxy, the further the lines in its spectrum are shifted towards longer wavelengths – an effect known as redshift. Astronomers have calibrated this effect, enabling them to estimate the distances to galaxies based on their spectra alone.
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