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Galaxy Collisions and the Milky Way

31 May 2021, 21:05 UTC
Galaxy Collisions and the Milky Way
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A view of the Milky Way toward the constellation Sagittarius (including the Galactic Center) as seen from an area not polluted by lights. Our view is from inside the galaxy. CC by 2.0 Steve Jurvetson.

How did our galaxy form? The short answer is “galaxy collisions”. That keeps astronomers busy as they develop new tools to “look back” at the birth of our own galaxy. We know that the infant Milky Way began taking shape relatively early in the history of the universe. It probably existed for quite some time as a tiny dwarf galaxy. Then, it began to merge with others to “plump up” and grow.

Today, the Milky Way continues to dance the galaxy formation tango with other dwarf galaxies, such as the Sagittarius Dwarf. And, we know that it will eventually do an interactive dance with the Andromeda Galaxy. That series of galaxy collisions and interactions will happen several billion years from now. For now, it seems, that our galaxy is still forming through mergers. And, astronomers have some interesting tools to probe the details of the stars that got brought into the Milky Way.

Billions of years in the future, the Milky Way galaxy will ...

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