Scientists discover mysterious object 10x longer than the Milky Way in deep space

Astronomers stumbled across the first known intergalactic trail of stars, estimated to be approximately 10 times the size of the Milky Way.

1 minute & 40 seconds read time

By complete coincidence, astronomers have discovered and mapped the first-ever stellar stream, an elongated thread of gravitationally linked stars that have been likely torn away from their original galaxies, only to be left in intergalactic space (the space between galaxies).

Scientists discover mysterious object 10x longer than the Milky Way in deep space 415

Previously, astronomers have mapped these stellar streams within galaxies but never outside of galaxies. According to the study published on November 30 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the researchers identified and mapped the first intergalactic stellar stream called the Giant Coma Stream (GCS).

The paper states the GCS passes through the Coma Cluster, also called Abell 1656, which is a group of more than 1,000 galaxies located approximately 321 million light years from our planet. The team that discovered the GCS isn't quite sure how it has grown so large, with speculation pointing toward the original target for their observations - dark matter. The team suggests that it's possible the currently invisible dark matter may have caused GCS to form into its current shape.

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"This giant stream crossed our path by coincidence," explains lead researcher Javier Román. "We were studying halos of stars located around large galaxies."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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