Andromeda feasts on its satellite galaxies | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Andromeda feasts on its satellite galaxies

By
10:35am, July 3, 2001

Often referred to as the Milky Way's big sister, the nearby galaxy Andromeda is about twice as large as our own galaxy and has a similar spiral shape. A new study reveals another feature that the two have in common: Both are cannibals.

Observations of distant galaxies still forming reveal that they grow bigger by gravitationally capturing smaller galaxies that fall within their grasp. The captured material ends up in a spherical halo of matter surrounding the galaxy's disk. In our fully formed Milky Way, researchers have found several streams of gas and stars that appear to be the stretched-out remains of small galaxies gobbled up billions of years ago (SN: 4/22/0

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content