Cosmic collision in our neighbourhood changed galaxies
Toronto: Andromeda and Triangulum, the two galaxies closest to our own, collided two to three billion years ago, changing the galactic structure, according to evidence unearthed by astronomers.
The collision appears to have plucked millions of stars from the Triangulum disk to form a faint stream visible in the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) data, says Larry Widrow, professor of physics and Astronomy at Queen`s University.
Andromeda, and our own galaxy the Milky Way, are the two largest members of a small cluster of galaxies known as the Local Group. Triangulum, the third largest member of the Local Group, is about one-tenth the size of Andromeda.
Widrow, along with John Dubinsky of Toronto University, recreated this galactic encounter using a high performance computer and theoretical modelling.
Their simulations illustrate how the strong gravitational field of Andromeda could have pulled stars away from the Triangulum disc creating a stream just as the team saw.
The PAndAS, led by Alan McConnachie of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria BC, is using the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope to map the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies.
This map, the largest of its kind, will allow astronomers to test the hypothesis that galaxies grow by "cannibalising" other galaxies, says a university statement.
"We believe that these stars are relics of small galaxies that were destroyed by the powerful tidal fields of a larger galaxy. Our observations also suggest that the Triangulum galaxy is being ripped apart by Andromeda," says Widrow.
"Within a few billion years Triangulum will be completely destroyed by Andromeda and its stars will be dispersed throughout the Andromeda halo.
"And a few billion years after that, Andromeda and the Milky Way will collide and merge together to form a giant elliptical galaxy."
The findings were published this week in Nature.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings