The new research has found how humans formed from matter that originated hundreds or thousands of light years away, from another distant galaxy.
The research points how nearly all of the matter around us, and spread across the Milky Way galaxy is in fact made out of extragalactic matter.
Using computer models, the study found how matter—scattered all around us—was literally ‘acquired’ by our galaxy. Scientists suggest that supernova explosions sent out massive amounts of matter from distant galaxies and spread it across our universe with the aid ow powerful cosmic winds.
Astronomers suggest how the matter we are all made from, was most likely created a long distant time ago, far away from our galaxy, and was carried across the universe.
Speaking about the new study, Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern’s astrophysics center, said: “Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travelers or extragalactic immigrants.”
“It is likely that much of the Milky Way’s matter was in other galaxies before it was kicked out by a powerful wind, traveled across intergalactic space and eventually found its new home in the Milky Way,” added Anglés-Alcázar.
The video below illustrates the “intergalactic transfer” of gas from small orbiting satellite galaxies onto a central Milky Way-like galaxy.
In fact, scientists see this as a breakthrough and suggest how intergalactic transfer—movement of matter across the universe—is a brand new phenomenon that could drastically change our understanding of how galaxies across the cosmos formed.
Co-author of the study and CIERA member Professor Claude-André Faucher-Giguère said how: “This study changes our perception of how galaxies formed from the Big Bang. What this new model indicates is that up to one-half of the atoms around us – including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us – comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away.”
Furthermore, scientists indicate that even though this intergalactic matter traveled across the universe at unimaginable speeds, the distances the matter had to travel means that it took BILLIONS of years to arrive at different galaxies.
But how on Earth were scientists able to find out all of this?
Their study was based on simulations of the movement of matter though the universe. After developing an extremely detailed image of the universe at the very beginning—the Big Bang—experts used computers to simulate how matter from the big bang would behave and move cross the cosmos until the present day.
The simulations demonstrated how matter was transferred from smaller galaxies into bigger ones like the Milky Way Galaxy. The gas eventually forms Stars and can be accounted for as much as fifty percent of the matter in galaxies like the Milky Way.
“Our origins are much less local than we previously thought,” said Faucher-Giguère. “This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky.”
The research was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.