Astronomers have developed a rather advanced knowledge of the galaxies that cover our universe. But ours, the Milky Way, still hides secrets. It has also just unveiled a new one: a ring of metal-rich stars surrounding the galactic bar.
When we look up at the sky at night, we trust in our ownto reveal to us the beauties of the universe. That they imagined first which opened new horizons for them. Today, they even have instruments that allow them to look beyond the visible. In the infrared domain e.g. And thus to cross the barriers of dust that have long hidden our heart .
Remember that our Earth is sailing somewhere in one arm of our spiral galaxy. In the plane of his disk. Difficult, under these conditions, to perceive the structure of. More so its internal structure. But over the last decade, astronomers have taken advantage of a lot of new observational data to feed their simulations and build a model that is true to reality. That of a so-called barred galaxy. Which houses a band of centers – a rod – coming out of a bulge – the bulb.
Today some(Germany) bring new details to this description. Thanks to a study conducted in of on it of the Apogee Mission. This one is studying in high all star components of the Milky Way. By combining this data with those returned by the Gaia mission, which measures positions and of a billion stars, scientists were almost there. All they needed were groundbreaking computer models to look out over the galactic bulge and probe areas that had hitherto been inaccessible. What to reveal in a new way of 30,000 stars located in the inner areas of the Milky Way.
Trace the history of the formation of the Milky Way
From there, astronomers have constructed maps of the density, metallicity and age of the stars in this region of the Milky Way. Map showing, around the central bar of our galaxy, aricher on understand, in elements heavier than and – and consists of younger stars, about 7 billion years old, concentrated on the galactic plane.
Similar rings have already been observed inside others. But researchers were still wondering if there was one in ours. They now have the answer.
An answer that informs them a little more about the history of. Astronomers estimate that the galactic bar was formed at least 7 billion years ago. The stars that make up the newly observed ring must have continued to form from an influx of after the installation of this bar.
The question that remains unanswered is the question of the possible connection between the ring discovered by researchers at the Institute Maxand of the Milky Way. Is gas being led into our galaxy to burn for star formation at the core of the ring, as may be the case in other spiral galaxies? To answer this, astronomers will not only need additional data, but also more accurate models.