Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Milky Way - Then and Now

Astronomers using  NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's deep-sky surveys,  have revealed  visual evidence of how our home galaxy, the Milky Way, evolved into  the magnificent spiral galaxy  we see today.

Studying  the evolution of 400 galaxies similar to the Milky Way, astronomers concluded that the Milky Way most likely began as faint, blue, low-mass object,  probably was a flat disk with a bulge in the middle,  containing lots of gas.

Even at this early stage the young galaxy's center was  home to a super-massive black hole that probably grew along with the galaxy.

From the NASA article:
  • "Of course, we can't see the Milky Way itself in the past."  said study co-leader Pieter G. van Dokkum of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.  "We selected galaxies billions of light-years away that will evolve into galaxies like the Milky Way. By tracing the Milky Way's siblings, we find that our galaxy built up 90 percent of its stars between 11 billion and 7 billion years ago, which is something that has not been measured directly before."

Read the complete article HERE

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