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Signs of galactic cannibalism

Theories predict that galaxies grow by swallowing smaller galaxies, which may then show up as galactic debris. Astronomers think they have found one such tell-tale structure in a nearby galaxy.

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Figure 1: Numerical simulation of a giant galaxy assimilating a smaller companion.
Figure 2: Our nearest neighbour is the Andromeda galaxy, which is a giant spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.

BILL SCHOENING, VANESSA HARVEY/REU PROGRAM/AURA/NOAO/NSF

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Correspondence to Amina Helmi.

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Helmi, A. Signs of galactic cannibalism. Nature 412, 25–26 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35083656

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