A new panoramic map of the most distant Milky Way galaxy has revealed a series of stars left by a dwarf galaxy that will collide with the Milky Way within two billion years, according to scientists’ estimates in a study published today.
The research, published in the scientific journal Nature, which is releasing new evidence for studying dark matter in the universe, the invisible matter, is based on data from the European Gaia mission, which aims to map the three Milky Way galaxy. – Dimension, the US space company Neowise Telescope.
Previous work had suggested this stellar path existed in the outer region of the Milky Way Galaxy, known as the halo of the galaxy and sparsely populated with stars. Now, according to the Nature article, this star trail has been confirmed by a new map that provides a detailed view of its shape, size, and location.
According to the team of astronomers conducting the investigation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the United States, the dwarf galaxy of the Large Magellanic Cloud “sailed through the halo of the Milky Way like a boat in the water, trail the stars. Behind it.”
For the authors of the work, this disturbance in the galactic halo allows the study of dark matter, whose existence is inferred from the effects of gravity on visible matter, such as stars and galaxies.
According to astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the passage of the Great Magellanic Cloud through the halo of the Milky Way, which is considered to contain dark matter, should leave a trace of that invisible matter.
The team argue that the interaction between dark matter and the Great Magellanic Cloud will have implications for the Milky Way: the orbit of the dwarf galaxy will become smaller and smaller to the point that the galaxy collides with the Milky Way in an estimated two thousand years. Years.