The Milky Way is “rippling” like a pond, and scientists may eventually know why

Imagine the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way as a flat, calm pool of water. Now, imagine someone dropping a stone the size of 400 million suns into that water. Calm shattered. Wave after wave of energy ripples across the surface of the galaxy, wrestling and bouncing off its stars in a chaotic dance that takes eons to subside.

Astronomers think that something like this may have already happened — not just once, but many times over the past several billion years.

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