(CNN) – A new map of the galaxy containing the Earth’s Milky Way (Galaxy) has revealed a series of strange, arm-like structures, ancient and remnants of violent events.
According to Sci-News, the structures are like a series of stretched ribbons, winding around the Milky Way in its spiral. The team led by Dr. Chervin Laporte from the Institute of Space Sciences at the University of Barcelona (Spain) describes them as the “fossil arms” of the galaxy.
The authors suggest that these structures were created from ancient disturbances of satellite galaxies around the “monster” of the Milky Way, a very large galaxy containing the Solar system. Heaven and has a violent past with many interactions with other galaxies.
Currently, the Milky Way is believed to be interacting with the dwarf galaxy Sagittarius. In the slightly more distant past, it interacts with Gaia Sausage, a tiny galaxy that has been torn apart, scattered across the outskirts of the Miky Way.
One of the “fossil arms” called the Anticenter Line was discovered to contain stars more than 8 billion years old, too old to belong to Sagittarius, so it should be considered evidence of the aforementioned Gaia Sausage interaction. .
The leading hypothesis is that during the interactions, the Milky Way’s matter was pulled apart, combining with matter from the torn apart galaxies to form strange arms, elongated filamentous structures, and contains an intense history.
According to the authors, the discovery provides another interesting piece of the puzzle about the formation of the Milky Way, a monster thought to have devoured 16 other galaxies to reach its present-day size. The new study has just been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.