Using two supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Swiss National Supercomputing Center, a group of researchers headed by Dr Simon Portegies Zwart of Leiden Observatory has simulated the long term evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy over a period of six billion years – from 10 to 4 billion years ago.
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If you took a photo of our Milky Way Galaxy today from a distance, it would show a spiral galaxy with a bright, central bar of dense star populations.
The Sun would be located outside this bar near one of the spiral arms composed of stars and interstellar dust; beyond the visible galaxy would be a dark matter halo.
Now, if you wanted to go back in time and take a video of our Milky Way Galaxy forming, you could go back 10 billion years, but many of the galaxy’s prominent features would…
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