Distant Galaxy looks like the early Milky Way

(ORDO NEWS) — A galaxy has been discovered that looks like a very early version of our own Milky Way.

The Sparkler Galaxy is embedded in a system of globular clusters and satellite galaxies and appears to be consuming them as it grows.

Sparkler can be found in the constellation of the Flying Fish in the southern sky. We see this galaxy and its globular clusters as they were about 9 billion years ago, that is, about 4 billion years after the Big Bang.

The study was led by Professor Duncan Forbes of Swinburne University in Australia and Professor Aaron Romanowsky of San Jose State University in the United States.

Astronomers have studied the age and metallicity distribution of a dozen compact star clusters surrounding Sparkler.

Scientists have determined that they resemble younger versions of the clusters that now surround the Milky Way.

Some of the clusters near Sparkler are very old and rich in metals, like those found in the bulge of the Milky Way.

Two star clusters were of intermediate age and were poor in metals – these clusters are associated with the satellite galaxy Sparkler.

It looks like Sparkler is consuming this galaxy and its globular cluster system, just like the Milky Way has done in the past.

Although the mass of Sparkler is currently only 3% of that of the Milky Way, it is expected to increase over cosmic time to match the mass of the Milky Way in the modern universe.

The team will need deeper imaging to detect more clusters and satellites around this galaxy.


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