Two neighboring galaxies may be seen while gazing up toward the night sky in the southern hemisphere. Scientists from the West have named the two hazy patches of light the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. However, recent discoveries suggest that the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) may include two smaller galaxies, which you are not seeing.
Thus, how could a celestial object that has been seen by people for tens of thousands of years be two different things? The line of sight is stacked with the two different constructions. The distances between the two halves are 199,000 and 215,000 light-years, respectively. 5 kiloparsecs, or around 16,000 light-years, distant.
The new work is predicated on certain 1980s considerations suggesting that the SMC is two objects, but this has only been confirmed as reality by the most advanced observatories.
The group calculated the velocities of many stars in the SMC by utilizing the Gaia observatory of the European Space Agency. In addition, they employed the APOGEE survey and the Galactic Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder survey to examine the mobility of the Interstellar Medium (ISM) in these galaxies. The group also calculated these two structures’ chemical compositions. Another important clue that they are two separate tiny galaxies is that they vary chemically.
The quicker stars are located in the front galaxy, according to research, and the two systems have distinct velocities. Since there is less gas separating them and us, their light has less extinction, which is how they know this. Additionally, they may infer that the mass of the two SMC components is about equal. Both of the SMC’s components began interacting with their larger partner 600 million years ago, and they are currently interacting with the Large Magellanic Cloud.
There is proof that the SMC is made up of two structures with different gaseous and stellar chemical compositions. The authors, led by Dr. Claire Murray of the Space Telescope Science Institute, wrote, “We construct a simple model that successfully reproduces the observations and shows that the ISM of the SMC is arranged into two, superimposed, star-forming systems with similar gas mass separated by ∼ 5 kpcs along the line of sight.”
Given the horrors of Magellan’s colonialism, astronomers have called on the whole community to rename the Magellanic Clouds this year. Now that there are three galaxies instead of two, it seems like the ideal time to do this.
An analysis of the findings is available at arXiv and has been approved for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.