So uhh... What's going on here?

https://www.legacysurvey.org//viewer-dev/?ra=358.8697&dec=1.7654&layer=hsc-dr3&zoom=15

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mother duck elliptical followed by baby duckling ellipticals. Weirdly spherical around the edge to the right when you open the image but I don’t think any lensing is going on.

This cutout is a small piece of a cluster of amber galaxies.
Your line of galaxies is at the right end of the horizontal line of galaxies across the middle of the pic.
cutout2

It’s hard to remember sometimes tat we are looking at a 3D cosmos in a 2D window

It’s really easy to see things that are illusions of perspective.

Consider this thought experiment:

Imagine a big fishbowl on a stool with 50 goldfish spread randomly in all 3 dimensions in the bowl.
They are very sleepy goldfish and not moving because it is nap time.
Each fish has a random letter from A to Z painted on it.

When you walk around the bowl, you sometimes see a word lined up… CAT, MOM, MILK
As you squat down you see different words… CAP, DIM. ILK

There is no relationship between the letters at all, the relationship is in your perception of them.

In the real universe there rarely are lines of galaxies - almost always lines, circles, etc. are a matter of perception.

The only way to be sure is to know he Z values for the dots (galaxies) in the line.

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the most I’ve spotted in a ‘straight’ line was 15 in a distant cluster

And in a distant cluster you wouldn’t have Z’s for them.