Galaxy mergers

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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brian livesey
Posts: 5389
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

Galaxy mergers

Post by brian livesey »

Many galaxies are known to be cannibalising other galaxies through there gravitational tidal interactions. Our Milky Way galaxy is no exception, and is currently drawing in streams of galactic matter from the Magellanic Clouds.
Astrophysicists have discovered 11 stellar streams in our galaxy, the remnants of 11 galaxies that have been absorbed over time. New data gleaned from the Gaia space telescope indicates that some ten billion years ago the Milky Way cannibalised a galaxy one quarter of its own mass. The chemical make-up of stars in our galaxy is evidence for this merger, although a precise date for the event is still debatable.
Astrophysicists at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias in Spain, led by Carme Gallart, have determined the age distribution of stars in the Milky Way's disc and inner halo. The research team found that a majority of halo stars nearer the Sun have ages ranging up to 10 billion years.
The team identified that time to when the Milky Way merged with a companion galaxy, Gaia-Enceladus. The research is published in "Nature Astronomy".

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