A new and remarkable discovery made in the center of the Milky Way left astronomers from all over the world amazed. A small disk containing a lot of young stars has been found in the center of our galaxy. Up until now these stars were hidden behind some older ones which we’ve already studied.
Until now it was believed that the center of our galaxy only contained ancient stars. The scientific community thought that the materials needed to create new stars had already been used up in that region of space. But a paper which came out in the Astrophysical Journal Letters announced that new stars are actually present in that area.
To find out this information researchers had to do studies on variable stars which are called Cepheids. Studying them is a lot easier compared to other celestial objects due to the fact that they periodically dim and brighten. By keeping a close eye on this cycle we can better estimate their distance from Earth. With this information it is easier for astronomers to find out the distance to other objects as well.
With the use of the VISTA telescope located at the European Southern Observatory they were able to collect data on these young stars. A lot of work went into this because they had to analyze the data collected over several years of study. Out of the 655 Cepheids that were found, 35 of them are what they call classical Cepheids, which is a subtype of young stars.
Astronomers were even more amazed when they mapped out these young stars and discovered the fact that they are forming a disk feature along the center of the Milky Way.
It seems that the 35 classical Cepheids which were recently observed are less than 100 million years old. The youngest of the lot might be as young as 25 million years but they are not excluding the possibility of younger Cepheids in the celestial region.
Further research into this subject might give us a little more insight into how stars are actually formed and the process that takes place during the birth of one. Researchers will continue to study these new findings and maybe one day they will be able to precisely determine their origin.
Image source: www.skyandtelescope.com