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Science: Milky Way galaxy ‘reverse engineered’

Science: Milky Way galaxy ‘reverse engineered’

The secrets of Milky Way could be revealed with the help of modern technologies. The well-known galaxy has been reverse engineered to find out how it was assembled, reports quoting Professor Duncan Forbes from the Swinburne University of Technology.

To trace back the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy for identification of those star clusters formed within the original Milky Way, Prof Forbes used ancient star clusters. In particular, those clusters that were acquired over time as the galaxy swallowed up tinier satellite galaxies.

According to Professor Forbes methodology, most of these acquired star clusters attributed to only five satellite galaxies. These ones have long been disrupted but their compact star clusters have lived on for billions of years.

As Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society publication said, from the motions, ages and chemical composition of the star clusters, Professor Forbes inferred that several of the satellites contained bright nuclei at their centers and contained gas, the material needed for new star formation.

“Although our Milky Way may have undergone a tumultuous past, as it grew by accreting and disrupting other small galaxies, the star clusters known as globular clusters are extremely robust and they largely survived intact to the present day,” Professor Forbes explains.

The Caltech researcher said that these globular clusters that can be used to re-trace, or reverse engineering, the assembly history of our own galaxy going back billions of years.

“When you look up at the night sky, some of the individual stars and star clusters that you can see were actually formed outside of our galaxy—alien objects if you like, but now part of the Milky Way galaxy as we know it,” says Professor Forbes.