Animals

Is A Cannibal Galaxy Coming To Eat Us?

There are approximately 100 billion galaxies in the universe, but what happens when they collide? What is a cannibal galaxy?

Learn More:

Hubble Telescope Reveals Milky Way Galaxy's Cannibal Past (Space.com)
"The Milky Way's far outer reaches may harbor a shell of stars left over from a long-ago act of galactic cannibalism, a new study suggests. The finding supports the idea that our Milky Way has continued to grow over the eons by gobbling up smaller satellite galaxies, researchers said. And the results may help astronomers better understand how mass is distributed throughout the galaxy, which could shed light on the mysterious dark matter that's thought to make up more than 80 percent of all matter in the universe."

Merger States of Interacting Galaxies (ESA)
"These images show 6 different snapshots of galaxies at different stages of merging. It takes hundreds of millions of years for one merger to complete, so the individual stages are illustrated with different images from fifty nine new images of colliding galaxies that make up the largest collection of Hubble images ever released together."

The Milky Way Isn't So Massive After All! Neighbouring Galaxy Found to Have Double the Amount of Dark Matter As Our Own (Daily Mail)
"The Milky Way was recently believed to have a mass three trillion times bigger than that of our sun. But now scientists have discovered that our Milky Way is lighter than previously thought - with just 800 billion solar masses. This means it has about half the mass of one of its closest neighbours, the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light years away."