Gaia Spacecraft Reveals Ancient Collision of Two Milky Way Satellites

 

These clouds of stars called the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Large Magellanic Cloud, or SMC and LMC are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Using the newly released data from a new, powerful space telescope, University of Michigan astronomers have discovered that the southeast region, or “Wing,” of the Small Magellanic Cloud is moving away from the main body of that dwarf galaxy, providing the first unambiguous evidence that the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds recently collided.

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