Research Reveals Milky Way’s Recent Collision History

New Delhi: A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has revealed a significant discovery regarding the history of the Milky Way galaxy. Contrary to previous beliefs, the study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society found that the Milky Way’s last major collision with another galaxy occurred only around 3 billion years ago, much more recent than the previously estimated timeline of 8-11 billion years ago.

This groundbreaking revelation was made possible through data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, which meticulously maps over a billion stars, tracking various aspects such as their movements, luminosity, temperature, and composition.

The study’s authors identified a key indicator of galaxy collisions in the form of ‘wrinkles,’ which are essentially stars formed as a result of such events. By analyzing these stars, the researchers were able to determine that the Milky Way experienced a significant collision known as the Virgo Radial Merger less than three billion years ago, shedding new light on the galaxy’s formation and paving the way for further research.

Threats Faced by Environment Journalists Highlighted in New Survey

A recent survey conducted by the Earth Journalism Network and Deakin University in Australia has brought to light the challenges faced by environment journalists globally. The survey, titled ‘Covering The Planet: Assessing the State of Climate and Environment Journalism Globally,’ involved 744 journalists and editors across 108 countries.

The findings revealed that over 80 percent of environment journalists believe that climate and environment stories have gained more prominence in recent years. However, a concerning 39 percent of respondents disclosed that they have received threats for their stories, leading them to self-censor while covering sensitive environmental topics, particularly those related to illegal activities.

The survey emphasized the need for increased funding in newsrooms, with 79 percent of journalists expressing that more resources are crucial to improving environmental reporting and overcoming the challenges faced in this field. The report sheds light on the vital role of environment journalists in raising awareness and holding accountable those responsible for environmental degradation.