It’s very possible. The unusual shape that the Milky Way has can be caused by a recent or ongoing collision with another galaxy.
The shape of the Milky Way, which is similar to the letter “S” may be the result of a relatively recent or just ongoing collision with another galaxy. Informs the American “Newsweek”.
The shape of our galaxy (outer edges curved upwards at one end and downwards at the other) has been the subject of astronomers’ research for many years. Among the hypotheses explaining the appearance of the Milky Way are, among others: the action of intra-galactic magnetic field and the influence of black matter (hypothetical matter that does not emit and does not reflect electromagnetic radiation).
The European Space Agency (ESA) has collected data using a Gaia satellite that indicates that the cause of our galaxy’s shape may be completely different. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.
The Milky Way collision with another galaxy
Astronomers decided to measure the velocity of the Milky Way’s deformation based on accurate measurements of millions of stars. As the analyzes showed, the branches of our galaxy are moving at an extremely fast pace, circling its center every 600-700 million years explains Eloisa Poggio, one of the authors of the article in “Nature Astronomy”.
Scientists do not rule out that such a fast motion may be caused by a collision of the Milky Way with another galaxy. However, it is not known with which and when this collision may have occurred. Astronomers believe that one possibility is to “clash” with SagDEG, which is about 65,000 light-years away from Earth.
Scientists suspected that galaxies were about to collide about 300-900 million years ago. Now they say that the collision may have been going on for a long time. In their opinion, it is almost certain that the Milky Way will eventually absorb the SagDEG galaxy.