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Cannibal Spiral Galaxies Spiral Galaxies devour their satellites It's a "galaxy-eats-galaxy" Universe out there! According to current models, galaxies grow by ingesting other star systems.
Cannibal Spiral Galaxies Spiral Galaxies devour their satellites * Source: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Smaller satellite galaxies caught by a spiral galaxy are distorted into elongated star filled structures called tidal streams, as shown in this artist's impression. A new pilot survey has, for the first time, shown the tell-tale traces of spiral galaxies swallowing smaller satellites around star systems more distant than our own Local Group of galaxies. http://www.jonlomberg.com
round the Milky Way galaxy and in the vicinity of our immediate cosmic neighborhood, known as the "Local Group" of galaxies, traces of spiral galaxies swallowing dwarf galaxies have been known since 1997. But the Local group's three principal spiral galaxies and retinue of dwarfs is not a large enough sample to test theoretical predictions about the frequency of such digestive processes. Now, a new survey has managed to detect the tell-tale tendrils of galactic digestion beyond the Local Group.
galaxies | Spiral Galaxies devour their satellites