Astronomers have uncovered, for the first time, how our Milky Way galaxy formed and evolved over nearly 14 billion years of the Universe’s life. They were able to reproduce the pattern that allowed this city of hundreds of billions of stars to develop from the moment it began to form after the Big Bang.
The international team, led by astrophysicists at the UK’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) claim that it is an achievement that has eluded scientists until now. Previous attempts to model this type of galaxy – a typical barred spiral – have failed to reproduce the result that actually exists today. They ususally produced too many stars, all in a tight ball. Their findings, produced with colleagues in Germany and North America, are published August 2012 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team say they could potentially change scientific thinking in one of the most fascinating fields in astronomy.
Professor Gibson said: “For more than 30 years, repeated attempts to model the formation of a galaxy like the Milky Way, with sophisticated programming aids and high-performance computers, have failed. While spiral galaxies could be generated with such tools, they all uniformly refused to cooperate and look like the Milky Way.” Via How our Milky Way grew after Big Bang.