The Milky Way Now Has a Twin (or Two)
Research presented at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly has found the first group of galaxies that is just like ours, a rare sight in the local Universe. The Milky Way is a fairly typical galaxy on its own, but when paired with its close neighbours – the Magellanic Clouds – it is very rare, and could have been one of a kind, until a survey of our local Universe found another two examples just like us.
Astronomer Aaron Robotham searched for groups of galaxies similar to ours in the most detailed map of the local Universe yet, the Galaxy and Mass Assembly survey. “We’ve never found another galaxy system like the Milky Way before, which is not surprising considering how hard they are to spot! It’s only recently become possible to do the type of analysis that lets us find similar groups,” said Robotham.