The Small Magellanic Cloud is made up of two objects?  New research reveals the secret

The Magellanic Clouds are two objects that were previously considered dwarf galaxies It revolves around the Milky Way. We distinguish between the Large Magellanic Cloud and the neighboring, smaller Small Magellanic Cloud. It is connected to our galaxy by gravity. It can be observed without problems in the Southern Hemisphere In the form of two small pieces It's like the separate parts of our galaxy. The clouds are connected to each other by the Magellanic Stream.

They owe their name Ferdinand Magellan. One of the most prominent sea travelers and explorers.

However, it is currently considered a dwarf galaxy Since the end of the eighties There is a suggestion that the object is actually composed of two galaxies. Its diameter is estimated at about 7,000 light-years, and it consists of several hundred million stars.

It is located 200 thousand light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy, which makes me… Our galaxy's closest neighbor It is the most distant object that can be observed in the night sky with the naked eye. But because of its low surface brightness, it is best to look for it in skies free of light pollution.

Scientists set out to find evidence that the Small Magellanic Cloud actually existed Two dwarf galaxies. The international research team studied data collected by the Gaia Space Observatory and the Australian Quadrant Galactic Pathfinder Array, an array of radio telescopes in Western Australia. They also analyzed data from the APOGEE review.

The analysis revealed that the chemical compositions of the two parts of the Small Magellanic Cloud are different. Moreover, both parts They have different speeds. The objects appear to have similar masses and interact in the same way with the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The evidence obtained strongly suggests that the Small Magellanic Cloud is two separate dwarf galaxies. Because they were placed one after another from Earth's perspective, they remained hidden for a long time, creating the illusion of a single galaxy. Scientists also calculated that the closest one is located At a distance of about 199 thousand light year, while it is about 215 thousand years Lights.

The work is currently hosted on the arXiv preprint server.

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