Archaeologists are not the only ones searching the world for traces of the past. Astronomers also do this. And this time, it is towards the center of the Milky Way that they have uncovered a fossil fragment that may well help them tell the story of our Galaxy.
More than 40 years oldSeen in liller 1 Put in a bit like 150 others . He saw an oddity similar. Liller 1 is located approximately in the galactic plane, near our center . but today, (Italy) claims that it is actually the remains of one of the giant star clusters, which merged as the central bulge of the Milky Way about 12 billion years ago.
“Our results unevenly show that Liller 1 is much more complex than a simple. This is a stellar remnant “, Francesco Ferraro, astronomer, tells . A piece Galactic bulb The story of which is printed . »
A few years ago, these same researchers showed that the features of Terzon 5 did not correspond to a spherical cluster. A curious, that time. But with the discovery made on Liller 1 today, astronomers seem to think that there is a square Which was not identified yet.
Re-read the history of the Milky Way
This is thanks to a combination of data from the observatory Gemini South (Chile) andThis discovery was made possible today in one of the most opaque areas of the Milky Way. An area thick Made of dust Of It is 10,000 times weaker than it actually is. “Combined Gemini and Hubble images provide us with a clear and detailed view of the stars in Liller 1”The astronomer at the University of Bologna confirms Christina Pallanka.
What surprised the researchers, however, is that within these structures – Liller 1 and Terzan 5 – two very different stellar populations coexist. Very old stars on one side. Made about 12 billion years ago. AndOn the other hand. Between 1 and 2 billion years for Liller 1 and about 4.5 billion years old Terzan 5. “Rich in population And self-enrichment is concentrated in the central areas according to the scenario “, Barbara Lanzoni, the researcher explains. Therefore, it is sufficient to prove that these structures were formed at the time of the formation of the Milky Way and that they were later able to trigger star formation events.
“Now we have to keep digging deeper. Thanks to these “fossil finds”, we can finally start reading the history of the Milky Way. And who knows, maybe we need to rethink our knowledge of the manufacture of galactic bulbs “, Concluded Francesco Ferraro.