It is no secret that the Milky Way, our galaxy, is hungry. Scientists believe that our galaxy has ingested at least two other galaxies. New evidence of this has appeared again as scientists have discovered a stream of stars believed to be the remnant of an ancient star cluster slowly being eaten by the Milky Way. The scientists used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has a vast treasure trove of information that scientists are slowly sifting through.
“The Milky Way is constantly gobbling up small galaxies and star clusters,” said Ana Bonaca, a Yale graduate student and lead author of a study forthcoming in Astrophysical Journal Letters. “The more powerful gravity of our Milky Way pulls these objects apart and their stars then become part of the Milky Way itself.”
Marla Geha, associate professor of astronomy at Yale and a co-author of the study and her team believe this latest evidence is a star cluster rather than of a larger galaxy. She says: “Our discovery is more of a light snack than a big meal for the Milky Way,” says. “Studying this digestion process in detail is important because it gives us new insight into how all galaxies form and evolve.”
It would be interesting to be here in about 3 billion years with the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies run into one another. The results could look like this:
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