Astronomers have carried out an incredibly detailed study of the center of the Milky Way, revealing the history of the birth of stars in the Milky Way,media New Atlas reported. According to the authors of the new study, their results differ from the widely held view that stars form at a sustained rate in the central region.
Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way includes 100-400 billion stars. It is estimated that only one or two solar-mass stars are created in the Milky Way each year. Astronomers have previously believed that this puzzling group of stellar bodies is produced at a continuous rate. But a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy suggests that the history of star birth in our Milky Way galaxy is more staggered and dramatic.
The new study focuses on analyzing beautifully detailed images of the center of the Milky Way using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), which is equipped with HAWK-I instruments. HAWK-I is a near-infrared wide field of view imager that can observe the impressive night sky. HAWK-I has the ability to detect and capture light present in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, making it a useful tool for detecting galactic regions that are osmosised by a large number of cosmic dust clouds. These clouds block and scatter many wavelengths of light, but infrared light can pass through unimpeded.
The images are part of the GALACTICNUCLEUS survey of three million stars distributed over a 60,000-square-meter light year. Analysis of survey data shows that between 8 billion and 13.5 billion years ago, a large number of stars erupted. During this crazy star-born period, about 80 percent of the Milky Way stars were created, followed by a relatively “calm” period 6 billion years ago, during which the center of the Milky Way produced almost no stars.
This period of calm lasted about a billion years and ended. Over the next 100 million years, a new group of stellar bodies formed, with a total mass of tens of millions of suns. Since this series of events, the rate of star birth has been slow.
“During this activity, the conditions in the study area must be similar to those in the ‘star storm’ galaxies, which form stars at a rate of more than 100 solar masses per year,” said Francisco Nogueras-Lara of the Institute of Astrophysics in Andalusia. This eruption is bound to cause more than 100,000 supernova explosions, which may be one of the most active events in the entire Galaxy. “
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.