(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a galactic collision in the Andromeda galaxy for the first time.
Observations of the neighboring galaxy were made with the US Department of Energy Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) on the Nicholas W. Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Scientists measured the movement of almost 7,500 stars in the inner halo of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and found patterns in the movement and position of the stars, indicating that they belonged to another galaxy that merged with M31 about two billion years ago.
DESI was created to map tens of millions of galaxies and quasars in the near universe to measure the effect of dark energy on the expansion rate of the universe.
This instrument is the most powerful multi-object survey spectrograph in the world, capable of measuring the spectra of more than 100,000 galaxies per night.
Most of the Milky Way’s halo stars are known to have formed in another galaxy and then migrated through a galactic merger 8 to 10 billion years ago.
The halo is a spherical component extending far above and below the galactic disk.
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