Possible perp found in mystery of Milky Way’s missing galaxy pals | Science News

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Possible perp found in mystery of Milky Way’s missing galaxy pals

Supernova turmoil could have blasted away galactic building materials

By
7:00am, June 26, 2016
satellite galaxies

VIRTUAL GALAXY  New simulations show that supernovas whittle away at the sea of dark matter surrounding our galaxy (left), leaving only a few blobs that are massive enough (circled) to create satellite galaxies. The image on the right, from the same simulation, shows where stars end up forming. 

SAN DIEGO — The long-standing mystery of the Milky Way’s missing satellite galaxies has a credible culprit, new research suggests. Supernovas, the vigorous explosions of massive stars, might have shoved much of the matter surrounding our galaxy deep into space, preventing a horde of tiny companion galaxies from forming in the first place.

Millions of teeny galaxies should be buzzing around the Milky Way, according to theories about how galaxies evolve, but observations have turned up only a few dozen (SN: 9/19/15, p. 6). And the brightest of those that have been found are lightweights compared with what theorists expect to find. But new computer simulations designed to track the growth of galaxies down to the level of individual stars reveal the critical role that supernovas might

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