A team international scientists discovered remnants of ancient stars destroyed by the Milky Way from observations of a star system called the Phoenix star stream, which is was interrupted by the gravitational forces of the Milky Way, shedding light on the early assembly of the galaxy that houses the Solar System.
The globular clusters, as the phoenix star stream They orbit almost all known galaxies, have more than a billion stars, and are distributed around the galaxies. This suggests that many of these star clusters formed in other low-mass galaxies that once orbited the central galaxy, but were accumulated and destroyed in others by its gravitational forces.
Astrophysicists used the phoenix star stream as a kind of “fossil” in order to rebuild the process of its accumulation around the Milky Way. Finding that this is only a remnant of the cluster, which is the poorest in metals that until now has been discovered.
- The amount of metals in a globular cluster can also determine the mass of the galaxy in which it formed.
The fact that there is little abundance of metals such as helium in the Phoenix star cluster, confirms that theoretical predictions that the Milky Way houses the remains of a missing population of extremely metal-poor groups, which formed in early the history of the Universe.
According to scientists, this discovery published in the journal Nature provides a unique perspective on the early days of galaxy assembly. The relationship between galaxy-mass-metallicity indicates that galaxies in the early Universe contained fewer stars than typical globular clusters, suggesting that those galaxies may not have been able to form massive clusters, that is, have many stars.
“The galaxies in the early Universe should have contained only a few hundred thousand stars, similar to the number of stars in today’s typical globular clusters.”
As a result, it is believed that these extremely metal-poor star clusters have been destroyed by the tidal forces of your galaxy host during cosmic time, in the case of the Phoenix star current through the Milky Way.
Phoenix’s unusually low metallicity implies that the cluster must have formed at a time when its home galaxy was one of the lowest-mass galaxies.