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Uncovering the birthplaces of stars in the Milky Way

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Uncovering the birthplaces of stars in the Milky Way

Post by Dragon on Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:24 am

An international team of scientists led by Ivan Minchev of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) has found a way to recover the birth places of stars in our Galaxy. This is one of the major goals in the field of Galactic Archaeology, whose aim is to reconstruct the formation history of the Milky Way.

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Re: Uncovering the birthplaces of stars in the Milky Way

Post by Dragon on Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:27 am


Credit: I. Minchev (AIP)

Left: A sample of about 600 stars situated very close to the Sun was used (approximate volume shown by arrow).

Right: Using precise stellar age and iron content measurements, the stellar birth places could be recovered. Older stars were found to arrive preferentially from the inner parts of the disk (lighter coloured dots), while younger ones (darker coluored dots) were born closer to their current distance from the Galactic centre.

The background image shows a simulation of a galaxy similar to the Milky Way for perspective.

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Re: Uncovering the birthplaces of stars in the Milky Way

Post by Dragon on Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:29 am



Sound waves help reveal the shape of interstellar clouds.

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Re: Uncovering the birthplaces of stars in the Milky Way

Post by Dragon on Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:30 am



NGC 6559 is a cloud of gas located about 5,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Sagittarius. It neighbor is the much larger and better known Lagoon Nebula (Messier Cool.

The gas in this cloud is mainly hydrogen, the raw material for star formation. When enough mass accumulates in a region of the nebula, the matter will start to collapse under the weight of its own gravity. Eventually the mass will become so hot and dense, that thermonuclear fusion will begin - marking the birth of a new star.

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