A large, strange group of young stars discovered near the center of the Milky Way

A large, strange group of young stars discovered near the center of the Milky Way
A large, strange group of young stars discovered near the center of the Milky Way
Anonim

It is generally accepted that the bulge - the central, dense and densely populated ellipse inherent in all spiral galaxies, including ours - consists of old stars. It's kind of like a nursing home. Red giants, red dwarfs - these are typical representatives of the bulge, but in the Milky Way a group of "young" was found among them.

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The new data was obtained using the VISTA telescope operating at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Chilean Andes. An infrared telescope is able to "see" through the dense dust accumulations surrounding the center of the galaxy. It allowed astronomers to observe 655 variable Cepheid stars. Of these, 35, to the great surprise of scientists, belong to the classic type of young stars.

Their age is estimated only at 25-100 million years - recall that our Sun has existed for more than 4.5 billion years - although they are surrounded, as it should be, by much more respectable, old stars. But most interesting of all, in space, this team of 35 young stars forms a rather tight group, which seems to crash into the central bulge of the Milky Way.

Such a number of stars of an unexpected type could not have appeared by chance. And if we follow the existing models of the structure of galaxies, the central bulge should still be inhabited only by old stars. However, then somewhere in it, somewhere in the vicinity of the very center of the Milky Way, there must be a still unknown source in which young luminaries are born. Or there must be a force pulling them from more distant regions of the galaxy.

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