The Milky Way's satellite galaxy

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brian livesey
Posts: 5760
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

The Milky Way's satellite galaxy

Post by brian livesey »

Astrophysicists dated 100 red giants in our galaxy with such precision to discover that they belonged to a satellite galaxy, named Gaia-Enceladus, that collided with our galaxy. The team made their age measurements from Kepler data and the Gaia and Apogee instruments.
Josefina Montalban, lead author of the paper published in "Nature astronomy", said: "The chemical composition, location and motion of the stars we can observe in the Milky Way today contain precious information about their origin. As we increase our knowledge of how and when these stars were formed, we can better understand how the merger of Gaia-Enceladus with the Milky Way affected the evolution of our galaxy."
At the time of the merger, the Milky Way was already efficiently forming stars. These have since migrated to the thickest disc. Our spiral galaxy consists of two disc -like structures.
Charlotte Bridge
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:41 am

Re: The Milky Way's satellite galaxy

Post by Charlotte Bridge »

The mass of this Gaia-Enceladus could be a quarter of the total mass of the Milky Way, and the merger itself led to a burst of star formation and played a significant role in the formation of the disk of our galaxy. It is assumed that in the near future the Milky Way will absorb the Magellanic Clouds (its dwarf satellite galaxies), the same will be done by the nearest large spiral galaxy M31 or the Andromeda Nebula with its satellite galaxies, and in about 4.5 billion years, both large galaxies will merge together.
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