Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our galaxy is still 'reeling' from a recent impact where another star system tore straight through it

Our galaxy, the Milky way is still 'ringing' from a cosmic impact where a smaller galaxy tore through it - and the terrifying collision happened just 100 million years ago, very recently in cosmological terms.

The 'smoking gun' was telltale vibrations in nearby stars, which astronomers claim is the equivalent of a 'ringing' sound left by the enormous impact.

The collision - either with a tiny galaxy or a hurtling ball of mysterious 'dark matter' - left our galaxy with unevenly distributed stars, as if a wave was passing through it.

A team of astronomers from Canada and the United States have discovered what may well be the smoking gun of such an encounter, one that occurred close to our position in the galaxy and relatively recently, at least in the cosmological sense.

‘We have found evidence that our Milky Way had an encounter with a small galaxy or massive dark matter structure perhaps as recently as 100 million years ago,’ said Larry Widrow, professor at Queen’s University in Canada. Read More