13 billion years ago was not the same as seen by scientists today. The latter believe that while in the vast expanses of space active process of star formation. New lights were born, and were drawn closer to each other under the influence of gravitational forces. This led to the formation of the first star clusters, then a small (dwarf galaxies) which are between and formed larger galaxies such as our milky Way.
Evidence of a collision of the milky Way galaxy called Gaia's moon Enceladus appeared in 2018, when the data of the European space Agency's telescope pointed to the fact that some stars are not quite in its place. Scientists have discovered that the inner part of the milky Way filled with the debris of another galaxy, which during the life was four times less than ours. However, to date it was not known when could happen is a collision.
Researchers of the Canary Institute of astrophysics believe they have been able to reveal this mystery.
In the study, they found out the exact location and brightness of a million stars in our galaxy within 6500 light years from the Sun using the space telescope Gaia.
The Stars were divided into two categories: blue (metal poor) and red (metal-rich). It turned out that all stars are equally ancient, but "blue" are moving chaotically. This feature was evidence that the milky Way is really once swallowed a smaller galaxy.
Focusing on the age of the star, scientists have determined the time of the collision of galaxies. They racetm, it happened 10 billion years ago.
Primitive milky Way formed stars in the past three billion years. The smaller galaxy passed the same way, but it was chemically poorer and had a smaller mass. Thus, it was consumed, the study says.
The Researchers note that the process of mergers occurred within several million years.
Merge is not an instantaneous but a gradual process which has a huge impact on star clusters, — say the authors.
Scientists have produced a 3D animation that illustrates the process of a merger. The video can be viewed below.
According to the researchers, the heat is allocated in the merge, a large number of galactic gas eventually led to the formation of the modern form of the milky Way. However, this was not the first case of such a merger, say researched. Over its history the milky Way has absorbed many other smaller galaxies. Our own galaxy in about 5 billion years the same fate. It will be absorbed by a neighboring galaxy .
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