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Strange intergalactic journey… June 15, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’d long known about stars cast out of galaxies into inter-galactic space – Iain Banks wrote a pretty good, if enormously baroque novel set on the planets of just such a system ‘Against a Dark Background’. But this from the Atlantic notes even more exotic interstellar travellers, that is stars from one galaxy which wind up in another.

Astronomers have used spectroscopy to detect rogue stars in the satellite galaxies around our own. In 2011, they discovered that the composition of more than 5 percent of the stars inside the Large Magellanic Cloud didn’t match that of its other stellar residents. Those rogues resembled stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy, instead. At some point, the larger cloud had stolen them away.
Astronomers say many more stars of this nature are in the Milky Way, but they are tricky to find.

Of course the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are near neighbours in interstellar terms. But it is fascinating to think of how fluid all this is albeit by human timescales the degree of movement is near infinitesimal.


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