Pan across the Milky Way’s central region
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Dec 16, 2019
This video pans across the central regions of the Milky Way, newly observed with the HAWK-I instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in the Chilean Atacama Desert. This stunning view shows the Milky Way’s central region with an angular resolution of 0.2 arcseconds.
More information and download options: www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1… Credit: ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.
Very Large Telescope images stunning central region of the Milky Way
Knight of Ni
Location: Valles Marineris
Member is on ATS now.
posted on Dec, 17 2019 @ 02:19 PM
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory based in in northern Chile have released high resolution images and the video below of the central region of our Galaxy , the observations give a new take for astronomers on the rate of Star formation in the early Galaxy and challenge the accepted theory that Star formation has been continuous throughout the history of the Milky way.
“Contrary to what had been accepted up to now, we found that the formation of stars has not been continuous,” adds Francisco Nogueras-Lara, who led two new studies of the Milky Way central region while at the same institute in Granada.
In the study, published today in Nature Astronomy, the team found that about 80% of the stars in the Milky Way central region formed in the earliest years of our galaxy, between eight and 13.5 billion years ago. This initial period of star formation was followed by about six billion years during which very few stars were born. This was brought to an end by an intense burst of star formation around one billion years ago when, over a period of less than 100 million years, stars with a combined mass possibly as high as a few tens of million Suns formed in this central region.
“The conditions in the studied region during this burst of activity must have resembled those in ‘starburst’ galaxies, which form stars at rates of more than 100 solar masses per year,” says Nogueras-Lara, who is now based at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. At present, the whole Milky Way is forming stars at a rate of about one or two solar masses per year.
“This burst of activity, which must have resulted in the explosion of more than a hundred thousand supernovae, was probably one of the most energetic events in the whole history of the Milky Way,” he adds. During a starburst, many massive stars are created; since they have shorter lifespans than lower-mass stars, they reach the end of their lives much faster, dying in violent supernova explosions.
So wonderful. Such wonders. Makes the mind explode with pure awe. Makes you want to go there and fly around amongst those bodies of stars and things we cannot even imagine.