ruye-ye pâ (#)
The arched upper surface of the human foot between the toes and the ankle (Dictionary.com).
Fr.: fonction échelon
Math.: A function f of a real variable defined on an interval [a,b] so that [a,b] can be divided into a finite number of sub-intervals on each of which f is a constant. The graph of a step function is a series of line segments resembling a set of steps.
Step, from M.E. steppen, O.E. steppan; cf. Du. stap, O.H.G. stapfo, Ger. stapfe "footprint;" → function.
Fr.: Quintet de Stéphan
A group of five closely grouped galaxies (NGC 7317, 7318A, 7318B, 7319 and 7320) in the constellation → Pegasus. Four of the galaxies show essentially the same → redshift, suggesting that they are at the same distance from us. The fifth galaxy (NGC 7320) has a smaller redshift than the others, indicating it is much closer. This one is probably a foreground galaxy which happens to lie along the line of sight. The four distant galaxies seem to be colliding, showing serious distortions due to gravitational → tidal forces. The NASA → Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the presence of a huge intergalactic → shock wave. Collisions play an important role in the life cycles of galaxies. → merging galaxies.