Like Hannibal Lecter, the Milky Way also evolves by devouring smaller galaxies. Last July, scientists set the time of the Milky Way to gobble up about 10 billion years ago, when the Milky Way devoured a dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus, though the date of the massive collision is still difficult to determine.
The latest findings, published in the journal Nature Astronomy on January 13, show that, using data obtained by NASA’s Transit Aliens Survey Satellite (TESS), the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite and a small number of ground-based telescopes, with the international cooperation of more than 80 professional scientists, By studying a star about 95 light-years from Earth that can be observed with the naked eye, the indi helped astronomers further confirm the period of the merger.
The team used astrology, a method of studying how stars pulsate and oscillate, to determine the age of v Indi and revealed that it has a long life span – about 11 billion years, meaning it is likely to be born outside the Milky Way. Scientists have speculated that v Indi came from a space region affected by the engulfed Milky Way by The Gaia-Encrados.
Bill Chaplin, an astrophysicist from the University of Birmingham and lead author of the study, said: “Because Indi was affected by the Gaia-Encrados merger, collisions must certainly occur after star formation. So we can set a new limit on the timing of the Gaia-Encrados event by confirming its age. “
The team speculated that v Indi must have existed before the Milky Way devoured Gaia Encrados, and by measuring age, the Milky Way was found to have merged between 11.6 billion and 13.2 billion years ago. The history of the Milky Way on Earth is well worth studying, and astronomers are trying to figure together the reasons for how the Milky Way formed the current twisted spiral.