Disorderly Conduct: Andromeda’s Mature Stars Exhibit Surprising Behavior, Says Study

The Andromeda Galaxy will collide with the Milky Way in the future. Credit: Adam Evans

The Andromeda Galaxy is now believed to consist of multiple generations of stars, with younger stars behaving in a far more well-ordered fashion than their older counterparts. Image credit: Adam Evans

To a distant observer, our own Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy would probably look very similar. Although Andromeda is longer, more massive, and more luminous than the Milky Way, both galaxies are vast spirals composed of hundreds of millions of stars. But new research presented at this week’s AAS conference in Seattle suggests that there are other differences as well – namely, in the movement and behavior of certain stellar age groups. This observation is the first of its kind, and raises new questions about the factors that contribute to the formation of spiral galaxies like our own.

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© Vanessa Janek for Universe Today, 2015. |
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