In a atypical study, astrophysicists have discovered that humans might be made up of 'extra-galactic matter', changing the earlier understandings of how galaxies are formed.
The study surfacing from Northwestern University, proposes a newly identified phenomenon called 'Intergalactic transfer- the movement of matter between galaxies'.
Astrophysicists used computer stimulations to find out how the matter around us came to be acquired by our galaxy. It found that supernova explosions throw out huge amounts of matter from galaxies, spreading it throughout the universe as it is carried on powerful galactic winds.
Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, an astrophysics postdoctoral fellow from Northwestern University who led the study, said, "Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travelers or extra-galactic immigrants".
"It is likely that much of the Milky Way's matter was in other galaxies before it was kicked out by a powerful wind, traveled across intergalactic space and eventually found its new home in the Milky Way.", he further added.
"What this new mode implies is that up to one-half of the atoms around us – including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us – comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away.", said Faucher-Giguère, a co-author of the study.
The findings open a new line of research in understanding galaxy formation, the researchers say, and the prediction of intergalactic transfer can now be tested.
“Our origins are much less local than we previously thought”, said Faucher-Giguère. “This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky.”