SEP 17, 2016 10:53 AM PDT

Astronomers Say Star Cluster Contains Remnants From the Early Milky Way

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

International astronomers based in Italy have had their eyes on a distant star cluster discovered more than four decades ago dubbed Terzan-5, and what they’ve found is pretty interesting.
 

The Terzan-5 star cluster reportedly contains two classes of stars dated 7 billion years apart from one another.

 Image Credit: NASA/Getty Images

There are reportedly two distinct types of stars in this cluster, which scientists have aged at around 7 billion years apart from one another. This suggests that while some of the stars are relatively young, others are fossils from the early Milky Way that are still kicking today.
 
The findings have been pushed into review for The Astrophysical Journal, but you can view the paper online right now.
 
The star cluster system is located around 19,000 light years away from ours, but using data accumulated from the ESO Very Large Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and from various Earth-based telescopes, scientists have determined that Terzan-5 is very different from other globular clusters we know of in our galaxy.
 
Because there seems to be a 7-billion-year gap in between the formation of some of these stars, it would mean there was a pause in between the formation of the stars in the system before star-formation activity started up again.
 
“This requires the Terzan 5 ancestor to have large amounts of gas for a second generation of stars and to be quite massive. At least 100 million times the mass of the Sun,” explains Davide Massari, co-author of the study.
 
Because there are still possibly some remnants of the early Milky Way lurking in this cluster, you can imagine astronomers are excited to learn more about what’s going on here. After all, it provides a unique opportunity to see more about what the early Milky Way might have been like.

“We think that some remnants of these gaseous clumps could remain relatively undisrupted and keep existing embedded within the galaxy,” explains Francesco Ferraro from the University of Bologna, Italy, and lead author of the study. “Such galactic fossils allow astronomers to reconstruct an important piece of the history of our Milky Way.”

With what we now know, Terzan-5 may be a primordial building block of our galaxy, and could help us to better understand how our galaxy formed.
 
Source: Hubble Space Telescope

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Star Cluster Born Outside of Our Galaxy is Discovered in the Milky Way
JUL 13, 2020
Star Cluster Born Outside of Our Galaxy is Discovered in the Milky Way
Scientists have reported the discovery of a vast stream of stars called Nyx in the vicinity of the sun.
JUL 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
JUL 20, 2020
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
Scientists who inhabit the International Space Station (ISS) typically have 12-hour shifts. These include two and a half ...
AUG 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
AUG 09, 2020
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
On August 7, A SpaceX recovery vessel called GO Navigator brought the Crew Dragon capsule back to its home port.
SEP 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Atmosphere Causes Moon to Rust
SEP 07, 2020
Earth's Atmosphere Causes Moon to Rust
Researchers from the University of Hawaii have noticed that the Moon is turning slightly red or 'rusty'- and tha ...
SEP 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
SEP 18, 2020
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
Back in 2017, scientists theorized that elements heavier than iron- such as gold- came to be following a collision betwe ...
OCT 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
OCT 03, 2020
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
On late October 2nd, NASA launched a spacecraft carrying 4 tonnes of cargo, including scientific equipment, food hardwar ...
Loading Comments...