DURHAM, England, July 1 (UPI) — Many ancient stars in the Milky Way are remnants of small galaxies torn apart in violent galactic collisions 5 billion years ago, U.K. researchers say.
Scientists at the Durham University in the United Kingdom made the discovery by running huge computer simulations to recreate the beginnings of Earth’s galaxy, a university release said Wednesday.
Researches at the school’s Institute for Computational Cosmology say simulations revealed the ancient stars, located in an area of debris surrounding the Milky Way, had been ripped from smaller galaxies by the gravity generated by galactic collisions.
The early universe was full of small galaxies, which led short and violent lives, colliding with each other and leaving remains that eventually became familiar galaxies like Earth’s Milky Way, cosmologists say.
Durham’s researchers say their results support the theory that many of the Milky Way’s ancient stars were once part of other galaxies instead of being the earliest stars born inside Earth’s galaxy when it started forming about 10 billion years ago.
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