Astronomers have been able to see the cruel collision between David and Goliath in the form of two neighboring galaxies that tear pieces from each other and throw them into the gaseous Magellan stream - the cosmic blood river around the Milky Way.
In a new study, scientists studied the turbulent battle between the Great and Small Magellanic Clouds - dwarf galaxies near the Milky Way. Their stars can be seen at night from the southern hemisphere. The researchers created an ultra-weak star map at the outer edges of the clouds using the Dark Energy camera on the 4-meter Victor Blanco telescope in Chile. Everything suggests that the Clouds have repeatedly contacted for billions of years.
Researchers have created a map showing how the Magellanic Clouds have repeatedly interacted with each other for billions of years. This battle is reminiscent of a famous biblical legend, where an unremarkable youth and a giant fight. The truth is that the Large Magellanic Cloud beats up a smaller comrade - the outer suits of the Small Cloud are very elongated. The distribution of stars in the Small Cloud indicates a collision with a nearby galaxy. All this led to the creation of the Magellan stream.
This is an exciting battle that ends in the Milky Way swallowing both. In the galaxies, new stars are still emerging, concentrated between them - the Magellan Bridge. It was possible to notice the previously unknown tiny galaxy Hydrus I, located between the Clouds. It belongs to the class of ultra-weak dwarfs, whose existence was discovered only 10 years ago. They have low brightness and a lot of dark matter.