Home > Astronomy, Galaxies, General Astronomy > Galaxy’s Snacking Habits Revealed

Galaxy’s Snacking Habits Revealed


Images Credit: Angel Lopez-Sanchez (AAO/MQU) and Baerbel Koribalski (CSIRO)

Images Credit: Angel Lopez-Sanchez (AAO/MQU) and Baerbel Koribalski (CSIRO)

A team of Australian and Spanish astronomers have caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbours and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past.

Galaxies grow by churning loose gas from their surroundings into new stars, or by swallowing neighbouring galaxies whole. However, they normally leave very few traces of their cannibalistic habits.

A study published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) not only reveals a spiral galaxy devouring a nearby compact dwarf galaxy, but shows evidence of its past galactic snacks in unprecedented detail.

Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and Macquarie University astrophysicist, Ángel R. López-Sánchez, and his collaborators have been studying the galaxy NGC 1512 to see if its chemical story matches its physical appearance.

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