Science: A Glimpse Into Limbo

It was only a blurred dot on a photographic plate. But as displayed last week by Astronomer Rudolph Minkowski of California's Mount Wilson and Palomar observatories, it was a scientific milestone: the dot, probably the collision of two galaxies 6 billion light years away from earth, represented the most distant phenomenon ever identified by man.

The picture, taken by Minkowski with Palomar's giant 200-in. Hale telescope, was a dramatic symbol of a surge in astronomical science made possible by a far-sighted alliance between optical and radio telescopy. When Palomar's 200-incher was completed in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!