Scientists Find Remains Of Unknown Galaxy That Was Consumed By Milky Way – Indiatimes.com

Science

The universe is constantly expanding and evolving, violently killing off planets and entire solar systems to pave way for new ones. Galaxies, too, collide into each other every now and then to create an entirely fresh arrangement of stars and planets. Our home galaxy Milky Way is no different.

Smaller objects in space get pulled into objects that are larger and have stronger gravity. Now, scientists have found evidence of a previously unknown galaxy nicknamed “Pontus” that was consumed by Milky Way about 8 to 10 billion years ago.

Milky Way NASA

Remains of Pontus in Milky Way

The remains of Pontus were found by European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, the agency wrote in a statement on Thursday.

According to ESA, learning about such events helps scientists understand the family tree of the Milky Way and what galaxies fell into our own to help it become what it is today – 100,000-light-years-long and teeming with planets and stars.

milky way galaxy Unsplash

Also read: Astronomers Spooked By Mysterious Object Discovered In Our Milky Way Galaxy

Scientists were studying the Milky Ways halo when they came upon Pontus’ remains. The halo of our galaxy is filled with clusters of ancient stars. It is here that remains of former galaxies have been found.

“When a foreign galaxy falls into our own, great gravitational forces known as tidal forces pull it apart,” ESA wrote. The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal on Thursday, led by Khyati Malhan, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

Black Hole Milky Way / Scientific American Black Hole Milky Way / Scientific American

Also read: Supermassive Black Hole In Milky Way’s Centre Has A ‘Leak,’ Says NASA

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References  

Howell, E. (2022, February 18). Astronomers spot remains of long-lost galaxy eaten by the Milky Way. Space.Com. 

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