New Theory Suggests the Milky Way is A Galaxy Eater

The Milky Way is what it is because it went out and devoured other galaxies.  Let me rephrase this, our Milky Way is a cannibalistic pig.  At least that’s the theory being offered up by a team of Astronomers out of the Canary Islands.

Did the Milky Way devour other galaxies to grow?

An international team of astronomers used high-resolution optical spectrometry to evaluate the chemical makeup of 28 red giant stars in the galaxy’s outer halo. Spectroscopic analysis involves breaking down the light emitted by a star and sorting it by wavelength, which allows astronomers to identify its chemical compounds. A star’s chemical makeup gives insight into the environment that it formed in and helps establish its origin. Based on the outer halo stars’ composition, the study found that the inner halo stars might not be a good representation of the stellar halo in its entirety, as has been previously believed.

“The abundance of some chemical elements in the stars in the external regions of the Milky Way halo was found to be surprisingly different from the information we had concerning the inner regions of the halo,” said Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias astrophysicist and first author of the paper, Giuseppina Battaglia, in a press release.

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