Using the VISTA telescope from the European Southern Observatory, astronomers have uncovered something unexpected at the very heart of our galaxy. Star clusters found in Milky Way Galaxy, prompted the scientists to review their theory that all star formations at the center of our galaxy are very old.
A disk of relatively young stars has been discovered in the shadows of their elderly counterparts, thus refuting the general theory that our galaxy has exhausted all its resources needed to create new stars.
The astronomers made this stunning discovery when they were studying a cluster of variable stars, the Cepheids. In traditional astronomy, a variable Cepheid is a star that pulsates radially and it has the ability to shift its temperature and diameter in order to enhance its brightness. Through rigorous observations, scientists have discovered that such star formations have actually a very well-defined brightness period. The word Cepheid is derived from the Greek word Kepheus, a mythological figure. He has an Ethiopian King, the husband of Cassiopeia and most known as being the father of Andromeda.
Later on, the word was used to name the Delta Cephei, a star cluster situated in the Cepheus constellation. The term was first employed in 1784 by astronomer John Goodricke, the first one to discover a star of this type. By using the star’s natural brightness cycle, astronomers are able to calculate its position in space.
The Star Clusters found in Milky Way galaxy have been discovered by using the studying the infrared imagery projected by the VISTA telescope. Image taken shown that there are approximately new Cepheids and about 35 of them belong to the classical Cepheids star category. AS stated before, astronomers were unable to detect the new star clusters because they’re forming a disk around the old stars.
According to their calculations, astronomers concluded that the newly-discovered star formations are less than 100 million years old and the youngest of them seems to be approximately 25 million years old.
Dante Minniti, a co-author of the paper, said that the study is far from being over. Out of all the stars observed, only a handful of them have been catalogued and many more await out there. He also declared that thanks to the VISTA telescope, they were able to study never before seen star formations.
Scientist are still keeping tabs of the Milky Way’s core in order to discover more star formations of this type.
Image source: www.pixabay.com