At some point in its history, a long time ago, Milky Way died but experienced a spectacular rebirth. Now, we’re living in the “second version” of our home galaxy. At least that’s what the Academics at Tohoku University believe after conducting a study in this regard.
Masafumi Noguchi, a scientist at the Tohoku University who studied the Milky Way evolution over the last 10 billion years, came up with an interesting theory. Accordingly, “the Milky Way galaxy has died once before, and we are now in what is considered its second life.”
“Stars formed in two different epochs through different mechanisms. There was a long dormant period between when star formation ceased. Our home galaxy has turned out to have a more dramatic history than was originally thought,” according to the University’ statement.
According to Masafumi Noguchi, Milky Way experienced a “dark age,” but we should be thankful for that period because it made it possible the appearance of life in one of our home galaxy’s spinning arms.
Milky Way died but it rebirthed, and we’re now living in our home galaxy’s “second version”
The whole history of the Milky Way is “readable” in its stars’ composition as they are made of whatever gases were present during their formation. In other words, the stars memorize events that happened during their birth, and studying stars’ composition might indeed reveal precious data on the different evolutionary stages of our home galaxy.
According to Noguchi, about 7 billion years ago, everything went wrong in the Milky Way because, as “shockwaves appeared and heated the gas to high temperatures,” and “the gas stopped flowing into the galaxy and stars ceased to form.” In other words, back then, Milky Way died.
In that “dark age,” however, supernovae explosions emitted iron which bound to the gases in the Milky Way changing their composition. Once the gases temperatures dropped, the gas began to flow in our home galaxy, and new stars started to form. However, Milky Way died 7 billion years ago, stayed dead for 2 billion years, and rebirthed 5 billion years ago as an improved “second version.”
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.