The study surfacing from Northwestern University, proposes a newly identified phenomenon called "Intergalactic transfer- the movement of matter between galaxies". The scientists created simulations that show early supernova explosions would have created galactic winds powerful enough to carry atoms from one galaxy to another.
Researchers developed sophisticated numerical simulations that produced realistic 3D models of galaxies, following a galaxy's formation from just after the Big Bang to the present day.
Putting it simply, the new study claimed, "It is more likely that most of the matter found in the Milky Way belonged to other galaxies before they were thrown out by a powerful air stream, and passed across the entire intergalactic space and finally set up their new home in our galaxy - the Milky Way.
As we discovered, nearly half of the matter, we are made of belonging to distant galaxies, which mean we can judge ourselves as extra-galactic migrants or space travelers".
As much as half of the atoms inside our bodies may have come from other galaxies - millions of light years away.
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"This study transforms our understanding of how galaxies formed from the Big Bang", said co-author Professor Faucher-Giguère, of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Even though the matter spread through the universe at hundreds of kilometers per second, the distances that the matter had to travel meant that it still took billions of years.
The study, which required the equivalent of several million hours of continuous computing is published by Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
By tracking in detail the complex flows of matter in the simulations, the team found that gas flows from smaller galaxies to larger galaxies, such as the Milky Way, where the gas forms stars.
"Our origins are much less local than we previously thought", he added. "This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky", Giguere said.
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