At left is NGC 2005, a globular star cluster. At right is the dwarf galaxy near our Milky Way that carries the name Large Magellanic Cloud. Scientists believe NGC 2005 was once part of a small galaxy, which the Large Magellanic Cloud consumed. Image via HLA/ Fabian RR/ ESO/ VMC Survey/ Astronomie.nl/ Phys.org.
Small galaxy eats smaller galaxy
Scientists believe they have evidence that the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf satellite galaxy of our larger Milky Way galaxy, ate an even smaller galaxy in the distant past. A team of Italian-Dutch researchers examined globular clusters – ancient spherical groupings of stars found in halos around galaxies – of the Large Magellanic Cloud. It found one of those globular clusters – NGC 2005 – had a different chemical composition than the others. They believe this cluster is the remains of a smaller galaxy that the Large Magellanic Cloud absorbed.
The scientists published their paper October 18, 2021, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy.
Testing a theory of galaxy formation
Astronomers believe that galaxies grow through small building blocks until they become the large island universes we see. They have past evidence that the Milky Way grew in just such a way. ...