The Milky Way is a galactic cannibal

Monday, 18 July 2011
by Estelle Asmodelle
galaxy (NGC1300) An image of a barred-spiral galaxy (NGC1300) where you can clearly see the bar structure in the thin disk of the galaxy (the line through the middle of the galaxy which the spiral arms start from). The Milky Way is thought to have a bar like this in its thin disk, as well as a similar shape in the thick disk as predicted by Dr Bekki’s simulation.Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA

PERTH: A merger between the infant Milky Way and a smaller galaxy has been detected with the help of a new theoretical model, providing evidence that our galaxy is a barred-spiral galaxy.

The new model simulates a merger between a smaller galaxy and the Milky Way some nine billion years ago and shed light on how the Milky Way was formed, reveals its history of devouring smaller galaxies and may strongly support a new model of the galaxy formation.