"Milky Way Galaxy" by Nick Risinger / Public Domain

Our Galaxy Has Thousands of Alien Stars That Didn’t Come from the Milky Way

Jan 9, 2020

By Rafi Letzter

We’re on our way to kill some galaxies, but long before that happens, we’re already eating little chunks of them.

That’s the conclusion of a new pair of papers published Dec. 5 and Dec. 15 last year in The Astrophysical Journal. Researchers found a few thousand strange young stars at the edge of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and concluded that these had formed from material bitten off of the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, a pair of dwarf galaxies that the Milky Way will eventually devour.

The stars stood out in their distant corner of the Milky Way because that region isn’t producing many new stars these days. Unlike at the livelier, denser galactic center, most of the available fuel in the far reaches has already been used up. But analysis showed that these stars were relatively young.

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2 comments on “Our Galaxy Has Thousands of Alien Stars That Didn’t Come from the Milky Way

  • Researchers found a few thousand strange young stars at the edge 

    A bit like Manchester United’s Academy.  Let’s hope that our galaxy has a bit more success! Report abuse

  • @OP: –

    Researchers found a few thousand strange young stars at the edge of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and concluded that these had formed from material bitten off of the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, a pair of dwarf galaxies that the Milky Way will eventually devour.

     

    This should not be too surprising, as the large galaxies are built up by pulling in smaller ones from around them.

    Satellite galaxies on the fringes do bleed material into the Milky Way, as gravity pulls material from them in to a comet-like tail.

    There are even previously merged smaller galaxies, which are now star clusters with retrograde orbits within the Milky Way.

    It is suggested that about 40% of the galaxy’s clusters are on retrograde orbits, which means they move in the opposite direction from the Milky Way rotation.

    Fortunately, stars are spaced well apart, so those going in the opposite directions usually just pass by at a considerable distance. Report abuse

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