The “graveyard” of dead stars in the Milky Way – Photo: PHYS.ORG
Neutron stars and black holes are formed when massive stars – at least 8 times larger than our Sun – run out of fuel and suddenly collapse.
The team estimates that this “burial site” of dead stars is about three times larger than the Milky Way itself. This challenges what scientists know about their own galaxy.
The study was published by the Royal Astronomical Society of Australia.
The Milky Way is the proper name for a spiral galaxy that contains our Solar System, and has between 100 and 400 billion stars.
Finding this particular “graveyard” was not an easy task. Because in the millions of years since ancient stars were created and died, the galaxy has changed and is now sparkling with new stars.
The team had to take into account motion dynamics, such as the repulsion from a dying star’s supernova explosion, to predict where the “dead” stars would land.
The study found that nearly a third of the stars that die after a supernova explosion have been ejected away from the confines of the Milky Way and rearranged themselves in a region like a “graveyard” dedicated to them. .
The fact that dead stars “launch” out of their galactic home is a reminder that supernova “explosions” – at speeds up to millions of kilometers per hour – are more powerful than astronomers think. science thought before.
Dr Hirai at the Astronomical Institute of Sydney said perhaps the most surprising finding from the study was that the supernova “explosives” were so powerful. To the point where the Milky Way will completely lose some remnants of dead stars. “They are so explosive that about 30 percent of neutron stars are thrown out into intergalactic space and never return.”
These strange “dead bodies” were created by supernova explosions, and threw them into the darkness of interstellar space. This is beyond the vision and knowledge of astronomers today.
Finding the hidden “corpse” of these ancient stars, described by Professor Tuthill, of the Sydney Astronomical Institute research team: “It’s like trying to find the graveyard of mythical elephants, referring to a place where, according to legend, old elephants die alone, far from their herd.”
Oddly, active stars can also be displaced from their galaxies.
In 2006, Harvard University experts discovered a pair of meteors that were rushing out of the Milky Way at a speed of more than 1.6 million km/h.
Even more intriguing, the frontal view reveals that the galaxy’s “underworld” is much more “inflated” than the Milky Way – the result of kinetic energy pumped in by supernovas lifting them into a halo. around the Milky Way is visible.