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How old is the Milky Way, and has it merged with other galaxies along the way?

Mickey Haney, Redondo Beach, California
RELATED TOPICS: MILKY WAY
NGC-4038
Determining the age of the Milky Way Galaxy is as difficult as determining the age of a forest: One can measure the ages of individual trees, but at what point in the past were there enough trees to define a forest? Similarly, we determine the age of the Milky Way by measuring the ages of stellar clusters and individual stars.

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