A Cannibal Galaxy
- URL to an article in MSNBC
Our galaxy may be a cannibal. And I thought Iraq was a dangerous place.
First few paragraphs
Streams of stars show cannibal galaxy
Researchers say our galaxy may be a dangerous place for passersby
Three new streams of stars were discovered ringing the Milky Way. The two
closest streams are thought to be star clusters, while the huge arcing stream
is thought to be a dwarf galaxy.
By Jeanna Bryner
Updated: 12:21 p.m. CT May 31, 2007
HONOLULU - Newly discovered stellar streams that arc around _our galaxy_
(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18963316/#) might be the remnants of cannibalized
star clusters and galaxies, scientists announced Thursday.
The stellar streams findings, described by the _California Institute of
Technology's_ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18963316/#) Carl Grillmair here at a
meeting of the American Astronomical Society, reveal our galaxy can be a
dangerous place for passersby.
Stellar streams are thought to form over billions of years as our galaxy's
gravity slowly tears apart globular clusters and even _dwarf galaxies_
(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070115_mm_hobbit_galaxies.html) . The stars,
which were once packed tightly together, are now separated by light-years,
trailing one another as they jet at high speeds through the galactic halo.
Grillmair and his colleagues analyzed data from the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey, comparing the colors and luminosities of stars and grouping similar stars
Two of the discovered _streams_
ht+to+be+star+clusters+while+the+huge+arcing+stream+is+) are about 13,000
light-years from Earth and are likely the remains of ancient globular
clusters, spherical collections of hundreds of thousands of old _stars_
(http://www.space.com/stars/) . Astronomers have identified only about 150 globular
clusters orbiting the _Milky Way_
(http://www.space.com/php/multimedia/imagegallery/igviewer.php?imgid=3880&gid=281) , though they think thousands may have
existed in the past. "
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