How Did Our Galaxy Evolve? Study Suggests Answers

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Our galaxy, the Milky Way, homes the Solar System and its diversified mysteries. But there are tons of of galaxies like ours within the cosmos and all of them are hiding a number of enigmas. They arouse acute curiosity amongst scientists, who’re drawn in the direction of them due to these puzzles. One of probably the most fascinating puzzles is how galaxies evolve. The galaxies comply with a specific sample with different programs. At current, one among our close by neighbours, the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, is being tidally disrupted. Two others, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are falling in the direction of us.

However, these dwarfs are unlikely to merge with, say, Andromeda, our nearest giant neighbouring galaxy, for one more 5 billion years. Andromeda is about 10 instances farther away from these dwarfs.

Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) have detailed these and the final main merger of the Milky Way in a current paper printed in The Astrophysical Journal. They used information from the Gaia spacecraft, which was launched in 2013, and mixed it with a brand new survey of the outer Milky Way to piece collectively the historical past of our galaxy’s stars and its final merger.

They discovered {that a} single dwarf galaxy merged with the Milky Way about 8-10 billion years in the past. They named the stays of the dwarf Gaia-Sausage-Enceladus (GSE). But the scientists had been unsure whether or not GSE collided with our galaxy head-on or whether or not it orbited the galaxy earlier than progressively merging. Their analysis confirmed GSE contained about half a billion stars and it didn’t orbit the Milky Way. The GSE approached our galaxy transferring in a retrograde course (reverse to the Galaxy’s rotational movement). The scientists additionally assume that a number of the Milky Way’s stars, that are about 13 billion years outdated, could have been captured by it after its formation.

The researchers say their research accounts for nearly the whole development of the Milky Way over the previous 10 billion years.

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