Dating galaxy info
Instead, they move in radial orbits, streaming toward or away from the center of the galaxy.
These stars are also rich in “metals”—the catch-all description astronomers give to any element heavier than hydrogen, helium or lithium.
In an analogous way, if you shake the Milky Way disk, even billions of years ago, it can take awhile for that response to settle down,” said Johnston.
Belokurov’s group also modeled different collision scenarios, as well as a possible quieter history without significant collisions.
We derive ages and other physical parameters from the simultaneous fitting with the GOSSIP software of observed UV rest-frame spectra and photometric data from the the joint analysis of spectroscopy and photometry, combined with restricted age possibilities when taking the age of the Universe into account, substantially reduces systematic uncertainties and degeneracies in the age derivation; we find that age measurements from this process are reliable.
We find that galaxy ages range from very young with a few tens of million years to substantially evolved with ages up to 1.5 Gyr or more.
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Hints of a dramatic collision had been seen before, but the indications had been inconclusive.
Two new studies—one published in June, another still under peer review—describe the evidence for this previously unnoticed event.“This is a big step forward,” said Elena D’Onghia, an astrophysicist at the University of Wisconsin who is unaffiliated with the new research.
“It’s interesting because we can finally see what the history of the Milky Way is.”To uncover evidence of the collision so many eons later, astronomers have to work like galactic archaeologists, sifting through myriad sources of surviving information to piece together a story consistent with the available evidence.
As the Milky Way was growing, taking shape, and minding its own business around 10 billion years ago, it suffered a massive head-on collision with another, smaller galaxy.
That cosmic cataclysm changed the Milky Way’s structure forever, shaping the thick spirals that spin out from the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core.