New evidence of how and when the Milky Way came together

June 2, 2021

New evidence of how and when the Milky Way came together

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Artist Impression of the Central Buldge of the Milky Way Galaxy
Description

By calculating the age of stars in our interstellar backyard, CCAPP astronomers Fiorenzo Vincenzo and Mathieu Vrard have provided the best evidence to date of the timing of how our early Milky Way galaxy was formed, including the merger with a key satellite galaxy.

New research provides the best evidence to date into the timing of how our early Milky Way came together, including the merger with a key satellite galaxy.

Using relatively new methods in astronomy, the researchers were able to identify the most precise ages currently possible for a sample of about a hundred red giant stars in the galaxy.

With this and other data, the researchers were able to show what was happening when the Milky Way merged with an orbiting satellite galaxy, known as Gaia-Enceladus, about 10 billion years ago.

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