Astronomers found evidence of Milky Way’s absorption of small stellar systems

The image displays the rotation curve tracers used in the publication over a photograph of the disc of the Milky Way as seen from the Southern Hemisphere. The tracers are colour-coded in blue or red according to their relative motion with respect to the Sun. The spherically symmetric blue halo illustrates the dark matter distribution inferred from the analysis. Credit: Background photo: Serge Brunier / NASA

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Astronomers have found compelling evidence of the confluence of the Milky Way and dwarf galaxies based on an analysis of the chemical composition of a star previously unknown to science.

The star, located at a distance of 22 thousand light years from us, is distinguished by a high content of silver, europium, gold, uranium and other heavy elements, noted the researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory / NAO / at the Academy of Sciences of China / ANC / Zhao Gang.

Researchers from the NAO and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan discovered this particular star by analyzing the enormous amount of spectral characteristics collected using the Chinese Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope / LAMOST / Large Sky Area Spectrometer.

The research results showed that the discovery in chemical composition is clearly different from the stars in the halo of the Milky Way and corresponds to celestial bodies in small galaxies that move around our Galaxy.

The new discovery led scientists to conclude that this star was formed in a small star system, or dwarf galaxy, formed as a result of interaction with the Milky Way, explained Zhao Gang.

Achievement, he said, not only serves as evidence of the fusion of star systems, but also deepens knowledge about their formation and development.

It is assumed that small star systems, such as dwarf galaxies, are the main building blocks of our galaxy. At the same time, science is still little known how many stars have “arrived” from dwarf galaxies and what are their features.

The outer layers of stars largely record information about the environment of their origin, so the study of their chemical composition allows to specify the source of their origin.

The fate of dwarf galaxies moving around the Milky Way with its mighty gravitational force is inevitable: in the end they will be absorbed.

Established in 2008, LAMOST is located at the Xinglong Observatory in Hebei Province in northern China and began regular operations since 2012. The device, as the largest spectroscope for observing vast areas of the sky, is still the only one in the world that receives more than 10 million spectra.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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