Milky Way grew by 'cannibalising' other smaller galaxies

Milky Way

The observations offered a unique opportunity to look at the motion of Milky Way halo stars.

"We knew these stars were there, because for the Andromeda study we had to separate the stars in Andromeda from the stars in the Milky Way," said co-author Puragra Guhathakurta, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

Researchers said finding the stars was meticulous work. Each Hubble image contained more than 100,000 stars.

"We had to somehow find those few stars that actually belonged to the Milky Way halo. It was like finding needles in a haystack," Marel said.

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