Scientists discovered a stellar desert in the middle of our galaxy, with no new stars emerging from a radius of over 8,000 light years.
When investigating the center of the Milky Way, the researchers discovered that the number of older stars exceeds the number of young stars, and the later were a lot less than scientists are expected.
The researchers tried to understand what would be the distribution of stars inside the galaxy, and the scientists are highly dependent on the number of young stars to get the Universal matrix correct.
The young stars are called Cepheids and have between 10 and 300 million years in age. In comparison, our mature sun has 4.6 billion years. The galaxy’s youngsters have the ability to send throbs of lights, creating a pulsing bright aura. The scientists monitor them to measure their brightness and then compare their calculation to what is visible from Earth.
A team of scientists from South Africa, Japan, and Italy discovered an empty zone in the center of our galaxy that lacks young stars. While right in the middle the researchers previously identified a 150 light years area full of Cepheids, in the 8,000 light years surrounding the center there are no young stars.
Normally, Cepheids are hard to find because the interstellar dust is masking them and obscures their light. The near-infrared Japanese-South African telescope in Sutherland helped scientists to see through the dust.
The telescope is called SALT and works through focusing on up to four points. The machine tracks the relative movement of objects in order to obtain a higher exposure time. Its primary mirror has a diameter of 11 m, and it consists out of 91 hexagonal fragments.
SALT can measure stellar radial velocity, stellar atmosphere, chemical composition, and it can spot diffuse interstellar bands and high redshift absorbers. The telescope helped the discovery of polar binary star systems.
The conclusion was that the Extreme Inner Disk from the Milky Way does not contain any young stars. The radio astronomers confirmed the fact that there are no new star nurseries in the center of our galaxy, even if other theoretical models opposed the explanation.
The scientists will continue to study the movements and the formation of Cepheids to understand how the Milky Way evolved in time, and what caused the void of new stars.
Image Source: Wikipedia