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The Milky Way is being twisted and deformed by the gravitational force of a neighbouring galaxy

Our galaxy, the Milky Way is being twisted and deformed by the gravitational force of a satellite galaxy – Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

The LMC is at a distance of around 163,000 light-years and is the second- or third-closest galaxy to the Milky Way.

Researchers at the University of Edinburg designed a statistical model in order to calculate the speed of the most distant stars from our galaxy.




The belief that the Milky Way is relatively static is under question after this discovery. There is a requirement of the production of new models to describe the evolution of the galaxy.

The gravitational force of the dark matter halo surrounding the LMC is pulling the Milky Way at 71,600 miles per hour. This is causing the deformation of our galaxy.

Dr Michael Petersen, the lead author of the study along with his team, showed that the LMC crossed the Milky Way boundary around 700 million years ago.



It upsets the fabric motion of our galaxy due to its large dark matter content surrounding the satellite galaxy.

Petersen added, “The effects of this relatively recent collision are still being witnessed today — and should force a revision of the birth of the Milky Way.”

The research made earlier had revealed that the LMC is surrounded by a halo of dark matter beyond the galactic disc. It was revealed that the attraction of the dark matter in LMC is pulling the Milky Way disc at 20 miles a second.

It was found that our galaxy was not moving in the direction of the current location of LMC. Instead, it was being pulled towards the constellation Pegasus in the northern sky.

This is happening because the LMC is floating away at an even faster speed of 230 miles a second.

The strong dynamic interplay between the two galaxies can be captured with the help of this new discovery made by the scientist.