Ripples in the Milky Way's disk suggest our galaxy was shaped by massive impacts billions of years ago

Mail Online | 7/18/2017 | Cheyenne Macdonald For
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Scientists have discovered evidence of what could be the ancient ‘architects’ of our galaxy.

In a new study, researchers analyzed the distribution of 3.6 million stars, revealing the presence of asymmetric ripples in the Milky Way’s disk.

Disk - Discovery - Ancient - Impacts - Billions

The stellar disk was once thought to be smooth, and the new discovery now suggests ancient impacts billions of years ago may have played a major role in shaping the structure of the Milky Way.

The new findings from researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Department of Physics and Astronomy provide observational evidence to support earlier works by the same team, which suggested these ripples may exist in the stellar disk.

Observations - Sloan - Digital - Sky - Survey

Through observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the team confirmed a vertical ripple that breaks the north/south symmetry in the number counts of the stars.

They also confirmed asymmetry in the plane of the galactic disk.

Researchers - Impacts - Cause - Phenomena - Collision

The researchers say impacts are the likely cause of the phenomena – including a collision with the massive dwarf galaxy Sagittarius roughly .85 billion years ago.

‘These impacts are thought to have been the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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