Hubble solves the 40-year-old mystery of the Magellanic Stream
2013 08 12

By Katie Collins | Ars Technica



The origins of a mysterious ribbon of gas that stretches nearly halfway around the Milky Way has been discovered by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ever since its discovery 40 years ago, astronomers have wondered where the Magellanic Stream originated. And now they have their answer. The stream was, for the most part, stripped from the Small Magellanic Cloud around two billion years ago.

The Small Magellanic Cloud is one of the dwarf galaxies that orbit our own. Computer models had predicted that the stream had been torn entirely from the smaller cloud, which is why astronomers were surprised to discover that a small part of the Magellanic Stream was also torn more recently from the larger of the Magellanic Clouds.

The sources were finally determined by using Hubble’s Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. Along most of the stream, the team found low abundances of oxygen and sulphur that correlated with levels found in the Small Magellanic Cloud two billion years ago. The composition of an inner region of the stream, however, was found to be full of heavy elements that made it more consistent with the Large Magellanic Cloud.

[...]

Read the full article at: arstechnica.com








Related Articles
Origin of Magellanic Stream that Wraps Halfway Around Milky Way Discovered
There’s a mysterious glow in this galaxy
Infinity Symbol of Dense Gas Observed at the Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy
Bubbles of Energy Are Found in Galaxy


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden’s submarine war against Germany – Rear-Admiral confesses to armed robbery
2014 04 15
On April 8, 2014, Swedish combat forces stormed the HQ of German submarine builder Thyssen’s offices in Sweden and walked away with blueprints for the next generation submarine A26. Immediately after the event, the head of security at Thyssen was fired. Aside one or two initial reports about what in effect was an armed robbery, a blanket of silence has been put ...
Black Ring Above England: New Evidence
2014 04 15
New explanations for the ’black ring’ as seen in England this week have been submitted by members since we highlighted the case. [Experts baffled after strange black ring appears in sky above England] As otherworldly a phenomenon it seems to be, it’s almost certainly due to very worldly reasons. Officials are still stumped as to the origin of the ring as recorded by ...
Sars Research Lab Loses 2,000 Tubes of Killer Virus
2014 04 15
A prestigious research institute in France said it had lost thousands of tubes of samples of the deadly Sars coronavirus. A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said. The institute was quick to ...
10 odd facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
2014 04 15
It was 149 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up. Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in ...
Dag Hammarskjöld Assassination: Plane may have been shot down
2014 04 15
Newly declassified 1961 cable called for grounding of Belgian mercenary hours after UN secretary general crashed in Africa Hours after a plane carrying the UN secretary general, Dag Hammarskjöld, crashed over central Africa in September 1961, the US ambassador to Congo sent a cable to Washington claiming that the aircraft could have been shot down by a Belgian mercenary pilot. In the ...
More News »