Galaxy “Crumbs” found in Milky Way.
A new stream of stars has been found running through the constellation Aquarius, and astronomers think the group is all that’s left of a smaller galaxy that was recently gobbled up by our home galaxy.
Aquarius is the closest stellar stream to Earth yet found, stretching from 1,500 light-years to 30,000 light-years away, in the direction of its namesake constellation. It’s also the youngest known stellar stream, since it likely formed when a dwarf galaxy was ripped apart 700 million years ago—a mere blink of the eye in cosmic terms.
By studying the Aquarius stream and other remnants of the Milky Way’s past meals, scientists can understand not only the origins of our galaxy, but also its future.
“Our current understanding of galaxy formation does mean that our galaxy grew by merging with and eating others,” Williams said. “Eventually it’ll merge with the other big boy in the local group, the Andromeda Galaxy. But that’s a long time off yet”—in about five billion years, astronomers predict.
Tiberius commented on the discovery:
“We[Earth] aren’t moving closer to the black hole. We are moving away from it.”
Yep, it definitely appears as if the black hole (center of Milky Way galaxy) is on a North-North-West trajectory. As the black hole creeps forward on this path, the stars will feel a loss of gravitational pull.