Milky Way to face a one-two punch of galaxy collisions

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on Science – Ars Technica January 5, 2019 at 08:34AM.)

(Cover Image)

Enlarge / A simulation of galaxies forming in the early Universe. By chance, some of them experience a history that’s similar to the Milky Way’s.

If our knowledge of galaxy structures was limited to the Milky Way, we’d get a lot of things wrong. The Milky Way, it turns out, is unusual. It’s got a smaller central black hole than other galaxies its size; its halo is also smaller and contains less of the heavier elements. Fortunately, we’ve now looked at enough other galaxies to know that ours is a bit of an oddball. What’s been less clear is why.

Jetpack

Luckily, a recent study provides a likely answer: compared to most galaxies, the Milky Way’s had a very quiet 10 billion years or so. But the new study suggests we’re only a few billion years from that quiet period coming to an end. A collision with a nearby dwarf galaxy should turn the Milky Way into something more typical looking—just in time to have Andromeda smack into it.

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This article and images were originally posted on [Science – Ars Technica] January 5, 2019 at 08:34AM. Credit to the original author and Science – Ars Technica | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

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