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Many nearby star clusters come from just three “families.”

Many nearby star clusters come from just three “families.”

Madrid, June 10 (Europe Press) –

Most of the young star clusters near our solar system belong to just three families, originating in… Star forming regions are very massive.

With this result, an international team of astronomers led by the University of Vienna was able to decipher the history of the formation of young star clusters, some of which we can see with the naked eye at night. It has been published in Nature.

“Young star clusters are excellent for exploring the history and structure of the Milky Way,” he says. “By studying their movements in the past, and thus their origin, we also gain important information about the formation and evolution of our galaxy.” It’s a statement João Alves of the University of Vienna, co-author of the study.

Using precise data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia mission and spectroscopic observations, the team traced the origins of 155 young star clusters within a radius of about 3,500 light-years around the Sun. Their analysis shows that these star clusters can be divided into three families with common origins and training conditions. . “This suggests that young star clusters originate from three very active and massive star-forming regions.” says Elvis. These three stellar families are named after their most prominent constellations: Collinder 135 (Cr135), Messier 6 (M6) and Alpha Persei (aPer).

“These results provide a clearer understanding of how young star clusters in our galactic neighborhood are interconnected, just like family members or ‘bloodlines,’” says lead author Camerin Sweigum, a PhD student at the University of Vienna. “By examining the 3D motions and past positions of these star clusters “We can determine their common origins and identify the regions of our Galaxy where the first stars of these star clusters formed up to 40 million years ago.”

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The study found that more than 200 supernova explosions occurred within these three groups of star clusters, releasing massive amounts of energy around them. The authors concluded that this energy may It had a major impact on the distribution of gas in the local Milky Way.

“This could explain the formation of a superbubble, a giant bubble of gas and dust 3,000 light-years in diameter around the Cr135 family,” Swigham explains. Our solar system is also immersed in one of those bubbles, called the local bubble, filled with soft, very hot gas. “It is possible that the local bubble is also related to the history of one of the three families of star clusters,” Swigham adds. “It likely left traces on Earth, as indicated by measurements of iron (60Fe) isotopes in the Earth’s crust.”

“We can practically turn the sky into a time machine that allows us to trace the history of our home galaxy,” says João Alves. “By deciphering the genealogies of star clusters, We also learn more about our Hungarian ancestorsIn the future, João Alves’ team plans to investigate more precisely whether and how our solar system interacted with interstellar matter in our galaxy, the Milky Way.