December 1, 2021

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The Magellanic Stream is five times closer than we thought and joins the Milky Way

The Magellanic Stream will merge with the Milky Way to form new stars in our galaxy.

In addition to the Milky Way, there are two galaxies that are part of the local constellation on clear nights in the Southern Hemisphere: Large and small magelanic clouds, A pair of satellite galaxies located 200,000 and 163,000 light years away from our planet, respectively.

A billion-year-old gravitational link between magma clouds and the Milky Way Large gas bow Flowing in the night sky, so called Magallan Stream. Although it is invisible to the human eye due to its wavelength, UV and X-ray images show the current extending to about half of the Milky Way.

Although the first observations of the Magellanic current occurred in the 1970s, its origin and future are not yet known astronomically. However, A new model Developed by astronomers from University of Wisconsin-Madison And the Space Telescope Science Institute recreated the birth of two Magellanic galaxies 3.5 billion years ago and provided unpublished information about the mysterious current:

Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud from Australia’s Wilson Promontory National Park. Photo: Getty Images

Based on data from recent observations of the Magellan current (and the results of a study conducted in 2020, assuming that the current is surrounded by a gas corona), the team concluded that it was. Five times closer to the Milky Way About 65,000 light years from our planet than previously believed.

The new calculation also reveals the probability of having only one in the stream Fifth of the mass Previously calculated, so does not cover one-third of the Milky Way believed in previous observations.

Study published in Letters from the Journal of Astronomy Previous observations confirmed that the two galaxies revolved around themselves; However, the new model decided they would do so Opposite direction It was believed until.

Despite the distance that separates our galaxy from the current, 50 million years later, the gas curve The internet will start with the Milky Way, Causing new stars to form in our cosmic environment.

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