Gaia telescope helped to find traces of the ancient mergers of the Milky Way

Throughout their lives, galaxies often interact with each other. This interaction can take different forms. Sometimes galaxies can disperse in space, limiting themselves only to the gravitational influence on each other. Sometimes they merge into a single object.
Gaia telescope helped find traces of the ancient Milky Way confluences of the Milky, stars, galaxies, this, rather, of all, symmetry, Sometimes, which, many, stars, galaxies are, large, groups, small, analysis, fractions, contains

Our Milky Way is no exception to this rule. Over billions of years, he most likely swallowed up quite a few neighboring galaxies. A group of researchers from the University of Groningen tried to find traces of such events. For this, they paid attention to the halo. Halo is a spherical component that extends beyond the galactic disk. Its center of symmetry coincides with the center of symmetry of the Milky Way. Halo consists of rarefied hot gas, dark matter and stars. The latter are mainly represented by old, low-mass luminaries.They can occur both singly and in the form of globular clusters.
Gaia telescope helped find traces of the ancient Milky Way confluences of the Milky, stars, galaxies, this, rather, of all, symmetry, Sometimes, which, many, stars, galaxies are, large, groups, small, analysis, fractions, contains

According to astronomers, many stars in the halo are not “local”. They originate from other galaxies that have become part of the Milky Way. To test this hypothesis, they analyzed data from the recently published second part of the Gaia catalog. As a result, scientists were able to identify the 6,000 stars that make up the halo of the Milky Way.
Gaia telescope helped find traces of the ancient Milky Way confluences of the Milky, stars, galaxies, this, rather, of all, symmetry, Sometimes, which, many, stars, galaxies are, large, groups, small, analysis, fractions, contains

The subsequent analysis showed that among them there are five small groups of stars, which with a high degree of probability are remnants of dwarf galaxies, previously absorbed by the Milky Way. Also, astronomers have noticed that many single halo stars most likely also have a common origin. They move in retrograde orbits and form something like a “bubble”. This suggests that they are the trail of an ancient collision of the Milky Way with a comparable-sized galaxy that completely changed its structure.

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