Milky Way May Have a Hidden Neighbor

Scientist think another galaxy could be cause of odd gravitational pull
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 7:22 PM CST
Milky Way May Have a Hidden Neighbor
The Milky Way Galaxy.   (

(Newser) – We may have new neighbors. Astronomers think they've discovered the cause of a peculiar gravitational pull on the Milky Way—it's another galaxy hidden behind a giant cloud of cosmic dust, the New Scientist reports. The new galaxy could be as close as 3 million light years away, a relative hop, skip, and a jump.

"We are ignorant about our immediate neighborhood behind the Milky Way," said one of the scientists proposing the theory. He said a radio survey could peer through the dust and confirm or reject the theory. The gravitational pull also could be caused by a hidden cluster of smaller galaxies further away, the scientists said. (Read more Milky Way stories.)

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