Did Andromeda crash into the Milky Way 10 billion years ago?

Press/Media: Relating to Research


For many years scientists have believed that our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is set to crash into its larger neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy, in about 3 billion years’ time and that this will be the first time such a collision has taken place. But now a European team of astronomers led by Hongsheng Zhao of the University of St Andrews propose a very different idea; that the two star systems collided once before, some 10 billion years ago and that our understanding of gravity is fundamentally wrong. Remarkably, this would neatly explain the observed structure of the two galaxies and their satellites, something that has been difficult to account for until now.  Dr Zhao will present the new work at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews on Thursday 4 July.

Period4 Jul 2013

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