An excessive amount of gas flowing into the Milky Way galaxy has been discovered by astronomers—though the reason behind the phenomenon remains a mystery.

According to a news release from NASA’s Hubblesite, about 10 years’ worth of data from the Hubble Space Telescope shows there has been more gas coming in than out, said Andrew Fox, an astronomer and lead author of a forthcoming study for The Astrophysical Journal.

When employing Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) technology through the telescope, gas heading away from the galaxy appears redder, while gas coming toward it appears bluer. This led to the unexpected realization that the amount of gas coming into to the Milky Way is far greater than that which is escaping.

“Our Milky Way is a frugal galaxy,” Hubblesite explained. “Supernovas and violent stellar winds blow gas out of the galactic disk, but that gas falls back onto the galaxy to form new generations of stars.”

The process itself—which has occurred for billions of years—does not explain why there is a surplus of gas in the gal

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