The Milky Way has a number of dwarf galaxies around it. Two of those dwarf galaxies the Magellanic Clouds. The Magellanic Clouds are interesting since a star bridge olds the two dwarf galaxies together.
There is much information that astronomers are getting from Gaia. It is a space telescope much like Hubble but is unique on its own since it spins on its axis. This gives it a more panoramic view of space. It has more pixels on its images, giving the images a high resolution.
Another advantage of Gaia is that it has two telescopes in it. With these features, astronomers are given the best possible views of space today. For the Cambridge team, Gaia has been used to observe the two Magellanic Clouds around the Milky Way.
The astronomers from Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy are studying a particular type of star, called the RR Lyrae. Such stars are very old and unevolved and have been part of the Magellanic Clouds as well. The RR Lyrae stars that have been seen have been used to measure the extent of the Magellanic Clouds.
In the study of the Magellanic Clouds, Dr. Vasily Belokurov and colleagues have noted a stream of stars slowly forming its way from the Large Magellanic Cloud to connect to the Small Magellanic Cloud. The stars are said to be ones that have been taken by the Large Magellanic Cloud from the Small Magellanic Cloud, according to the University of Cambridge's site. The star bridge is said to be made up mostly of RR Lyrae stars.
Dr. Denis Erkal, co-author of the study, has said that the stars were taken away from the Small Magellanic Cloud some 200 million years ago. That happened at the time when the two were quite close to each other. When the event happened, stars, as well as amounts of hydrogen gas, were taken from the Small Magellanic Cloud, as Science Daily reports.
The universe might be vast, but even so, objects such as galaxies still collide. A result of this might be material taken out from one to another. A star bridge holds two dwarf galaxies together, which is material taken from one of the dwarf galaxy going to another. Astronomers speculate that the dust that formed the planets came from giant stars.