The origin of the Milky Way is still mysterious, but astronomers believe it formed more than 13 billion years ago..
The modern universe has places with very high density like galaxies and places with very low density like the voids between them. However, all research shows that the early universe was very different: there was virtually no difference in density in the universe, according to the European Space Agency.
Simulate the Milky Way in the modern universe.
Simulate the Milky Way in the modern universe. (Photo: NASA).
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, probably arose like any other galaxy: from a small mass of matter with a density slightly higher than the average of the universe. About 13 billion years ago, this mass was mostly dark matter, a form of matter that does not interact with light. Because it has a slightly higher than average density, it has a slightly stronger gravitational pull than its surroundings, allowing it to attract more dark matter and, over time, become larger and more powerful.
However, the newborn Milky Way is not alone. It is surrounded by several neighboring dark matter clusters. Eventually, the first clusters of dark matter grew large enough to attract normal matter, coming together into dense clusters and forming the first stars. These clusters still exist today in and around the Milky Way and are called globular clusters. They contain the oldest stars in the galaxy, with some stars nearly 13 billion years old, according to the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Rapid development period
The original clusters of dark matter, along with their stellar populations, eventually merged to form the primordial Milky Way about 12 billion years ago. When this merger occurred, the Milky Way became a separate entity in the universe, separate from its surroundings. The galaxy’s enormous gravity attracts more and more dark matter and gas, causing its size to rapidly grow.
During this process, most of the air flows toward the center. When the air mass collapses, it forms a thin disk and spins rapidly. The galactic disk began to rapidly produce stars. For several billion years, the Milky Way has experienced an unprecedented period of rapid star formation, according to the California Institute of Technology’s Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
However, the mergers are not yet complete. Based on observations from the Gaia satellite, astronomers have identified more than a dozen star clusters in the Milky Way that appear slightly different from their neighboring stars. These collections contain stars with similar ages, elemental compositions, and velocities.
Theo Earth Sky, they represent the remains of smaller galaxies that merged with our own galaxy billions of years ago. The Milky Way’s powerful gravity tore apart these unfortunate intruders, devouring them and leaving only small remains behind.
The gas-filled central part of the Milky Way seen from the European Southern Observatory
The gas-filled central part of the Milky Way seen from the European Southern Observatory on Mount Paranal in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. (Photo: ESO)
Now and future
Today, the Milky Way has not given up “Cannibalism”. It gradually tears apart the closest satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
Interestingly, our galaxy has not merged with any other galaxies of similar mass during its 13 billion year history. Mergers of this type are very disastrous. The impact of the collision could trigger the rapid formation of so many stars that there would not be enough gas left to form new stars. After a major merger, galaxies tend to become “red and dead”which means they only contain small, pale red stars.
According to NASA, the Milky Way is on a collision course with its nearest large neighbor, . In about 4 billion years, they will begin to collide and, eventually, the Milky Way as we know it will disappear.
Article source: VnExpress
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The origin of the Milky Way still remains a mystery, but astronomers believe it formed more than 13 billion years ago. The modern universe has…