We understand that in around 2 billion years, our galaxy will clash with a close-by satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This accident will be so dramatic that it will certainly awaken the great void at the heart of our universe, creating it to gorge on neighboring issues and balloon to ten times its current size. The LMC is a reasonably little galaxy, yet it is abundant in the dark matter, so it has a large mass, triggering the collision between both galaxies to be disastrous.
In the meantime, however, the communication of both galaxies isn’t devastating– it is creating brand-new stars. Making use of information from the Gaia spacecraft, scientists sought uncommon blue stars and also the clusters of stars that relocate along with them in our galaxy. Once they had actually determined and also removed a well-known universe, they located one staying collection on the many edges of the Milky Way.
“It’s really, really far away,” primary discoverer Adrian Price-Whelan, a research fellow at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York City, said in a statement. “It’s further than any known young stars in the Milky Way, which are typically in the disk. So right away, I was like, ‘Holy smokes, what is this?’”
By analyzing the elements discovered in the stars in the cluster, the researchers realized that they were likely formed from fragments from beyond our galaxy. As the enigma collection lies close to a river of gas called the Magellanic Stream, which flows from the Large as well as Small Magellanic Clouds and also gets to towards the Milky Way, they think these other galaxies are the resource of the materials which formed the stars.
“This is a puny cluster of stars — less than a few thousand in total — but it has big implications beyond its local area of the Milky Way,” Price-Whelan said. One implication is that the LMC might be closer to the Milky Way than previously believed.
“If the Magellanic Stream is closer, especially the leading arm closest to our galaxy, then it’s likely to be incorporated into the Milky Way sooner than the current model predicts,” David Nidever, assistant professor of physics at Montana State University in Bozeman, said in the statement. “Eventually, that gas will turn into new stars in the Milky Way’s disk. Right now, our galaxy is using up gas faster than its being replenished. This extra gas coming in will help us replenish that reservoir and make sure that our galaxy continues to thrive and form new stars.”