For astronomers, discovering new worlds, stars, and even galaxies is really only half the battle. Once discovered, where it comes from, often means extensive research and a bit of guesswork. A new research effort aimed at uncovering some of the secrets of our galaxy home, the Milky Way, formed an astronomers believe they have found evidence of an ancient collision.
A new paper published in Nature Astronomy suggest that the Milky Way slammed into a smaller "dwarf" galaxy ago, swallowing up a huge amount of money and using it as a fuel to churn out new stars for years afterward.
The research, which was made possible Gaia space telescope, is based on the exact location and status of approximately one million stars in the Milky Way. The authors noted that the stars were surveyed and that they were "accretion event"
"The novelty of our work is to simulate the early life of the Milky Way." Carme Gallart, lead author of the work, told AFP . "It's a very gradual process-it's not something like a car crash-it's something that has an effect on the galaxy as a whole. It's very massive so it slowly falls into human terms, so slowly in cosmic time. "
It's worth noting that this ancient collision is not just the Milky Way wants to experience, as astronomers already know that our galaxy is headed for a merger with the nearby Andromeda galaxy. Thankfully that's not expected to happen for another 4.5 billion years or so.