The Milky Way is a cluster of stars that lies at the centre of the Milky Collela constellation, which is named for the Greek goddess of the hunt.
The constellation is one of the best-known constellings in the sky and it is the one that most tourists and amateur astronomers are familiar with.
But a new research paper published in the Astrophysical Journal suggests there may be more to the Milky way than meets the eye.
In particular, the authors suggest that some of the stars of the constellation are very close to each other.
“The authors have proposed a theory for the formation of the first stars in the Milky cluster, and this theory proposes that the MilkyWay is the result of collisions between galaxies,” said Dr Michael Geller, of the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-author of the paper.
“These collisions would have been made by the collision of many large, massive galaxies.”
Dr Geller and Dr James Koopman of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, have also proposed a hypothesis that suggests the formation is a natural process, involving “a large amount of gas and dust”.
“It has the potential to explain some of our observed phenomena such as the formation and evolution of the Earth and stars,” Dr Geller said.
For a detailed explanation of how the Milkyway is formed, check out the paper here.
The study’s findings are not conclusive, however.
“The study does not explain all of the observed features in the constellation and is limited by the observational capability,” Dr Koopmann said.
The researchers’ theory of the formation also assumes that all the stars in this constellation form within a single galaxy.
It is possible that the stars are formed by the gravitational interaction between a smaller galaxy and the Milky World, he said.
“This may explain some features of the constellation that we don’t see.”
The Milky Way contains billions of stars, some of which form in the inner reaches of galaxies, but many of which do not.
This means that the galaxy’s gravitational pull is stronger than our own, Dr Kropman said.
Dr Gelson said that it was possible to model how stars form in a galaxy, but it would require “further understanding of how galaxies form”.
“The galaxy must be large enough and large enough to have enough mass to form stars,” he said, adding that “if there’s a lot of star formation, then it might be possible that we are seeing a lot more stars than we are actually seeing”.
Dr Koopmans work was funded by the National Science Foundation.
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