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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Andromeda, our closest galaxy, has fused into the deep past with at least two small galaxies and is known to be on its way to dock with our own Milky Way galaxy within four billion years, a team from the World Federation of Astronomical Research said on Monday.
In order to reach these results, the researchers resorted to the so-called "Hungarian paleontology," a range that uses the motions and properties of stars and stellar clusters to reconstruct how galaxies were formed and developed.
The researchers used the four-meter Kate Peak National Observatory and the Jimnai telescope at the summit of Mona Kia, Hawaii, eight meters in diameter, to study about 77 star clusters in the halo surrounding the “Serial Woman” galaxy.
|Gimnai Observatory at the Mona Kia Summit in Hawaii (NASA)|
The galactic aura is the area around the galaxy, where there are many spherical clusters of stars, clusters where stars accumulate as many as hundreds of thousands, and scientists are interested in this region of galaxies because the impact of violent galactic events continue to appear for longer than the body of the galaxy itself.
In a study published on October 2 in the journal Nature, scientists found that two groups of stellar clusters were taking orthogonal pathways, when the galaxy was rebuilt through mathematical simulations. They came from outside the galaxy following previous fusion events.
The future of our galaxy
Located about 2.5 million light-years from the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy contains about one trillion stars. To imagine the difference in distance and size between us and them: Imagine that the Milky Way is a small salad dish on one side of the room where you sit, here will be the woman serialized the size of a large rice dish slightly up at the far end of the room.
|The orbiting galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away|
According to the new study, these findings point to the validity of the hypothesis that galaxies originated small at first, and then through similar adhesions contributed by dark matter, became larger in size gradually. In fact, our Milky Way galaxy has done the same in the deep past, and that is what gave it its contemporary size and shape.
But what we do know now is that our galaxy is preparing to dock with neighbor Andromeda in more than four billion years. The two galaxies will join together to create a massive oval galaxy, with a giant black hole at the center of the two galaxies.