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The Milky Way Stole Its Cosmic Neighbors from Another Galaxy

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Seems to be just like the Milky Way filched from one among its neighbors within the historical previous.

Our dwelling galaxy stole a number of dwarf galaxies that used to belong to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a galaxy close to the Milky Method. And all of it occurred due to an ongoing merger between these galaxies, which is a standard course of in our universe.

The invention of the theft got here courtesy of recent information from the Gaia space telescope, an ongoing European mission that can exactly measure the actions of a billion stars all informed. These observations embody information concerning the present actions of a number of close by galaxies. 

Associated: 3D Map of the Milky Way Is the Best Yet of Its Warped, Twisted Shape

So a staff of researchers in contrast that info with simulations that performed out these actions over lengthy intervals. The comparability instructed that 4 ultrafaint dwarfs and two different dwarf galaxies (referred to as Carina and Fornax) was a part of the LMC. However the Milky Way, a bigger galaxy, managed to tear the LMC aside with its extra highly effective gravitational subject.

In cosmic phrases, the theft did not occur all that way back. The galaxies came visiting to the Milky Method’s aspect solely about 1 billion years in the past, a mere fraction of the 13.eight billion-year age of the universe.

“If that’s the case many dwarfs got here together with the LMC solely lately, which means the properties of the Milky Method satellite tv for pc inhabitants only one billion years in the past had been radically totally different, impacting our understanding of how the faintest galaxies type and evolve,” lead writer Laura Gross sales, an astronomer on the College of California, Riverside, said in a statement.

Outcomes of the research had been published Sept. 5 within the Month-to-month Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Observe Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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