Massive Milky Way collision.  There was a collision with something huge

Of course, we are still talking about distant times. However, while researchers have so far assumed that our galaxy’s last powerful collision occurred 8 to 11 billion years ago, in light of the new findings, these beliefs need to be revised. As the authors of the publication published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical SocietyYou have to go back about 3 billion years compared to the present.

Read also: This is how the first galaxies in the universe were created. Unique material from Webb Telescope

Because three billion years ago, the Milky Way likely participated in a merger with another galaxy. In the future, we will have a repeat of the entertainment thanks to the merger with the Andromeda Galaxy. In addition, the Milky Way will at some point be “energized” by its satellite galaxies: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. But what happened about three billion years ago?

Astronomers base their findings on data provided by the Gaia spacecraft. They drew attention to structures called ripples, which are large distinctive features formed, for example, by gas deposits. They influence the way stars move, so they are a valuable source of information about our galaxy’s past.

A collision may have occurred in the Milky Way Galaxy about 2.7 billion years ago. This is certainly closer than previously assumed, indicating a merger that occurred 8-11 billion years ago

Members of the research team compare the Milky Way to Benjamin Button’s film, which becomes less wrinkled over time. The more ripples there are in a galaxy, the younger it is. By analyzing the appearance and disappearance of these structures within the Milky Way, researchers reach conclusions about when they were last involved in a merger.

By tracking an iron- and hydrogen-rich region, where the stars orbit in an eccentric orbit, the researchers created a picture of a relatively recent merger. They now have two ideas to explain these events. According to the first, a dwarf galaxy known as GSE collided with the disk of the Milky Way about 8 to 11 billion years ago. In a different scenario, an event known as the VRM occurred less than 3 billion years ago.

Read also: Giant black hole in the Milky Way. An unexpected discovery led to a key question

Data provided from 2018 was crucial to the research. Scientists have noticed signs of a more recent merger. Of course, this information does not invalidate the results regarding old connections. The ripples may have formed 8 to 11 billion years ago, or about 2.7 billion years ago, as a result of two separate mergers.

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