Milky Way's Violent Birth Decoded
- 25 Jul 2019
- 2 min read
Based on the Gaia space observatory data, Scientist has observed that the Milky Way, home to our sun and billions of other stars, merged with another smaller galaxy in a cosmic collision roughly 10 billion years ago.
Gaia Space Observatory
- Gaia is a mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.
- Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracy needed to produce a census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy.
- According to scientists, the union of the Milky Way and the so-called dwarf galaxy Gaia-Enceladus increased our galaxy’s mass by about a quarter and triggered a period of accelerated star formation lasting about 2 to 4 billion years.
- Galaxies of all types, including the Milky Way, began to form relatively soon after the Big Bang explosion that marked the beginning of the universe some 13.8 billion years ago, but were generally smaller than those seen today and were forming stars at a rapid rate. Subsequent galactic mergers were instrumental in configuring galaxies existing now.
- Certain stars with higher content of elements other than hydrogen or helium arose in the Milky Way and others with lower such content originated in Gaia-Enceladus, owing to its smaller mass.