More recently, the world of astronomy has heard that the Milky Way's disc is wrinkled vertically, just like a sheet of roofing. Astronomers wondered why this was happening. Eventually, they decided to take a closer look at the newly discovered galaxy Antlia 2, which is currently 130,000 light-years from the center of our galaxy.
Until now, it could not be detected because it hid from telescopes behind densely dotted bright stars in the center of our galaxy. However, new observations allowed us to discover it and even make interesting observations. It quickly turned out that she was responsible for causing such havoc.
Researchers at Rochester University conducted advanced simulations of the Milky Way's past interactions with Antlia 2. They used data from the Gaia probe in their research. Several hundred million years ago, Antlia 2 passed through our galaxy, and the observed peculiar ripple of the disk is the result of gravitational aftershocks that followed after its departure.
Interestingly, our galaxy has also collided with other, larger galaxies in its past. 10 billion years ago, there was a collision with a dwarf galaxy called Sausage. Such a picture of the events that took place 4-5 billion years before the formation of our beautiful planet was presented by astronomers working on the Gaia mission every day.
Astronomers from the European Space Agency believe that the Sausage stars have been taken over by the Milky Way and are moving in long and narrow needle-like orbits. According to research, they cross the central part of our galaxy. The sausage made the disk of our galaxy thicken, a halo formed, many stars began to follow a strange path, and larger star clusters began to form.
As for the future, the Milky Way will collide with the SagDEG galaxy in about 10 million years. It is currently about 85,000 light-years from Earth, about 10,000 light-years in diameter, and contains about 100 million stars. It will pass through the southern disk of our galaxy. While such interactions have happened twice in history, this time it can get really hot. Let us also not forget about the relentless collision of the Milky Way with Andromeda, which will take place in about 2-4 billion years.