The Hubble telescope, which has for more than three decades been the source of extraordinary discoveries in deep space, has discovered yet another incredible feature, this time from outside our Milky Way galaxy.
A corona, a shield of hot, superheated plasma that surrounds the Magellanic system beyond the Milky Way and prevents the dwarf galaxy from being destroyed, has been discovered by the flying observatory.
The Milky Way’s satellite galaxy, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, is where new stars are forming. As these stars are drawn towards our galaxy, gravity should have destroyed them, but instead, they are preserved. Astronomers have long been baffled by this peculiar feature’s persistence in the face of such strong star formation activity.
‘Many people were finding it difficult to understand how these streams of material could exist. How are these galaxies still generating stars if this gas has been taken away from them? The study’s principal investigator, Dhanesh Krishnarao, an assistant professor at Colorado College, made a statement.
The discovery, which was reported in Nature, points to a shield that protects the satellite galaxies’ gas sources from the Milky Way, allowing them to continue generating new stars.