Young stars have been found in an old part of our galaxy

HONOLULU – A cluster of young stars within the Milky Way is hanging out where it seemingly shouldn’t exist.

Our galaxy is enveloped in an in depth halo of old stars and hot gas — gas which can’t calm down enough to clump together and form new stars. And yet, a flock of relatively new stars is hurtling through the halo, researchers reported January 7 during a press conference at a gathering of the American Astronomical Society.

The star cluster is about 120 million years old and sits about 94,000 light-years faraway from Earth. Astronomers found it by sifting through data from the ecu Space Agency’s Gaia satellite for young stars clumped together and occupation an equivalent direction across the sky.

The cluster “didn’t have time to make elsewhere , so it had been probably born near where we see it,” said Adrian Price-Whelan, an astrophysicist at the Flatiron Institute in ny City. “But how did it form there, where there’s little or no cold gas that you simply need so as to make a replacement generation of stars?”

A clue, he said, lies with the Magellanic Clouds, two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way . The cluster appears to be speeding before a stream of gas being torn from those galaxies by the Milky Way’s gravity, suggesting that perhaps new stars are beginning of shredded remains of those satellites.

If the cluster and therefore the stream are connected, they reveal unknown conditions within the halo, said David Nidever of Montana State University in Bozeman at an equivalent press conference . the celebs appear to go ahead , while gas within the halo drags on the stream, slowing it down. Taking under consideration the star cluster’s age and its 17,000-light-year distance from the vanguard of the stream, Nidever said that gas within the halo could also be 10 times as dense as previously thought.

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