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Environment & Climate Change

The Milky Way had a little sister — until neighboring Andromeda gobbled her up

our_neighborhood_galaxies_portrait_of_what_it_would_have_looked_like_more_than_2_billion_years_ago_.jpg
Richard D'Souza / University of Michigan
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Compiled images from Wei-Hao Wang / NASA, JPL and NSF

Space is the final frontier, as Star Trek's Captain Kirk observed. It is almost always yielding exciting surprises and discoveries.

The latest finding is that our Milky Way galaxy once had a sibling. Sadly though, that sibling galaxy came to an unhappy end at the hands of our closest neighbor.

Eric Bell, professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan joined Stateside to tell us more about our long-lost galaxy sibling.

The finding of a new galaxy was quite a shock to astronomers at the University of Michigan.

"On some level we looked at the breadcrumbs diffused around M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, and realized that this looked like a galaxy that was much larger than expected — about half the size of the Milky Way,” explained Bell.

Listen above to hear more about the discovery of the sibling galaxy, and how it was "cannibalized" by Andromeda, listen above.

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