JUN 26, 2019 5:05 PM PDT

What Twin Galaxies Can Teach Us About Our Own

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

We reside in the Milky Way galaxy, and being that we exist inside of it, it’s particularly challenging to snag a glimpse of the Milky Way itself. This makes discerning the Milky Way’s size and shape particularly challenging, and with that in mind, what we think the Milky Way looks like today is nothing more than just an educated guess based on what we can observe.

Astronomers often study twin galaxies to learn more about them, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the same principle applies to the Milky Way. Given the technological hurdles today that prevent scientists from viewing the Milky Way from the outside, the best way to study it is by peering at other galaxies like our own.

A so-called ‘twin’ galaxy doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a replica, nor does it mean that the two galaxies originated from the same place, but it does mean that two galaxies share many similar traits; enough that studying one can teach us more about the other.

One such example is M32, a galaxy that once looked a lot like the Milky Way, that is, until the Andromeda galaxy collided with it. Intriguingly, Andromeda is poised to crash into the Milky Way in the next few billion years, and so studying the remnants of M32 might tell us more about the Milky Way’s inevitable future.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 06, 2020
Physics in Peril? (Part III) - A Problem at A Cosmic Scale
It is safe to say that astrophysicist Edwin Hubble redefined the universe as we knew back in the early 20th century.&nbs ...
FEB 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 11, 2020
Why China Was Banned from the International Space Station
The International Space Station is just that – a place where international space agencies can work together in an ...
MAR 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 01, 2020
Utilizing the Moon's Resources for Lunar Missions
Plans for future space exploration are taking shape, and many of those are expected to be crewed. One such example invol ...
MAR 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 16, 2020
What Would it Take to Visit Alpha Centauri?
Humankind has long pondered upon the ambition of becoming a multiplanetary species. While much of our realistic focus re ...
APR 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 14, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the ESA's Upcoming JUICE Mission
Jupiter is one of the most interesting planets in our solar system, and with that in mind, it may not come off as much o ...
MAY 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 12, 2020
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
Many of the world’s greatest science fiction films depict massive battles in outer space between starships and eve ...
Loading Comments...