Determining the chemical composition of 2000 stars in four of our neighboring dwarf galaxies, is a task even the biggest parallel analytical lab would probably baulk at taking on, although of course the referral fees would be stupendous. Nevertheless, a chemical survey of just such inter-galactic proportions has been carried out.
The chemical survey was made possible by the imaginatively named European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. This a bigger than normal telescope operated by Europe’s Southern Observatory, in case you couldn’t get.
The results from this survey are now shedding star light on our Galaxy’s ancient ancestry and revealing it to be very different from that of several of our near neighbors. Indeed, the findings have already cast some doubt on the theory that diminutive neighbours like these were the building blocks for our own Milky Way Galaxy.
You can find out more in the latest issue of Reactive Reports.