A team of astronomers from the University of Bologna (Italy) has uncovered evidence that a satellite galaxy in the Milky Way, called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), has merged with another galaxy in the past.
To test their hypothesis, scientists looked at groups of billions of stars known as global clusters. The idea is that the center of this type of global cluster will resist even after pulling a galaxy away for billions of years.
The researchers analyzed the chemical composition of the 11 global clusters captured by the VLT system and Giant Magellanic Telescope Not Chile, Second Study published in the journal Natural Astronomy.
One of the 11 clusters studied in the Large McGallonic Cloud is a unique chemical compound, NGC 2005. It contains 200,000 stars and is located 750 light-years from the center of the LMC.
Based on the chemical composition of NGC 2005, the researchers concluded that it must be Remnant of a small galaxy In which the stars slowly formed millions of years ago.
This small galaxy is then associated with a relatively small large megalonic cloud. Over time, most small galaxies split and most stars scattered, but the center, the global cluster NGC 2005, was left behind.
Researchers Indicated The discovery “is observational evidence that the hierarchical assembly process worked in building our close satellites.”
“NGC 2005 is a surviving witness to the ancient fusion event that led to the dissolution of its parent galaxy in the Great Magellanic Cloud, the only case known so far defined by its chemical seals. Dwarf galaxies“, According to researchers.