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Home / Science / Cepheus spur: Spanish astrophysicists discover a new region of the Milky Way, the United States

Cepheus spur: Spanish astrophysicists discover a new region of the Milky Way, the United States



A team of researchers from the Spanish Center for Astrobiology (CAB) showed the most accurate picture of the Milky Way to date and described the existence of “hops”, a blue star hotter than the sun that has been hidden until Now now.

The team used the European Space Agency’s Gaia telescope to put together a map of the Earth’s “solar neighborhood”, detailing the spiral arms of the stars that make up our galaxy. These include Orion, where the solar system is located; Perseus is located at the outer edge of the Milky Way, and Sagittarius is located at the center of the Milky Way.

When we found the Spurs, there was no explosive revelation, but something in my heart was changed

Michelangelo Pantaleoni González, scientist at the Spanish Center for Astrobiology

Scientists led by Michelangelo Pantaleoni González and Jesús Maíz Apellániz also discovered a hidden structure and they named them It is the outrigger of Cepheus, which is a huge blue star bridge composed of Orion Arm and Perseus constellation. The mass of a blue star is at least three times the mass of the sun, and because of its intense heat means it looks blue in our eyes, so it has a nickname.

Due to previous lack of details in the “Astral Catalog”

; that the researchers just updated, no Cepheus branch was found. Pantaleoni González said that their new map “has 20,000 classified celestial bodies.” “The density of stars can be observed in previously apparently empty space.” Their work was published in Monthly Bulletin of the Royal Astronomical Society March.

Map images of the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies.
Map images of the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies.that

For scientists, an important aspect of the newly discovered spur is its uniform motion, which shows that it is not a random arrangement of stars, but a structure located above the “Galactic Disk”, that is, a thin circular distribution of stars, dust and gas. , Usually show a beautiful spiral pattern. This position may be caused by the kind of contraction observed in other nearby galaxies, but this kind of contraction is not observed in the Milky Way. “It may be due to the violent evolution of the Milky Way galaxy’s disk oscillations. Pantaleoni González said: “Maybe they are echoes of collisions with other galaxies billions of years ago, or something else. “

The large blue stars that make up the tip of Uranus, also known as OB stars among astrophysicists, are the largest, rarest and hottest stars in the Milky Way. Of the estimated 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, less than one million are OB stars, which are actually so rare that Pantaleoni González describes it as a “rare disease.”

Although the surface temperature of a star like the sun is about 5500ºC, the temperature of an OB star may exceed 30,000ºC, and its mass may increase dozens of times. Pantaleoni González explained that the relationship between the temperature of an object and the color it emits is called Planck’s law. “If you heat a piece of charcoal to more than 1000ºC, we will start to see it glowing dark red. If we heat the embers more and more, it will reach the temperature of the sun and will glow yellowish-white. If it continues, the light The color will become blue.” Pantaleoni González explained. “Astronomers joked that astrophysicists burned their hands in public toilets because they didn’t understand the color code of the faucet.”

The Orion thorn is the yellow star bar between the Orion arm (light blue) and the Perseus constellation (red)
The Orion thorn is the yellow star bar between the Orion arm (light blue) and the Perseus constellation (red)M. Pantaleoni González, J. Maíz Apellániz, RH Barbá and B. Cameron Reed.

For Pantaleoni González, blue stars are the most interesting objects in the universe because the nuclear reactions inside them are particularly violent, which means they produce elements that help build the earth. The young scientist who has not yet graduated said: “The elements that make up our planet, such as silicon or the phosphorus atoms in DNA, mainly come from the interior of this type of star that died billions of years ago.”

When huge blue stars die, they will also produce new stars and release huge energy in the form of supernovas. Supernovas compress gas at extremely high temperatures and then explode to form new stars. Pantaleoni González said: “When an OB star dies, it can give life to hundreds of stars like the sun.”

When blue stars shine brightly in life, they disappear quickly. The researchers explained: “Some of these people live only a few million years, five thousand times less than the sun’s expected lifespan.” “This means that they cannot change their position in the galaxy to a large extent. We almost always They are found near galaxies that are active and active in star-forming regions.” Therefore, his discovery helps to understand where new stars are born by identifying a cluster of blue stars that can produce more new stars. “The new branch shows how to maintain the production of new elements and how to recycle matter in the universe. Ultimately, it is directly related to the formation of planets in other stars and the chemical basis of life.” He said.

The huge blue stars that make up the Cepheus branch are the largest, rarest and hottest stars in the Milky Way

The co-author of this paper, Rodolfo Barbá, a professor of astrophysics at the University of La Serena in Chile, compared the task of creating the Milky Way map with the Earth map drafted during the Enlightenment era. He said: “We can’t even send space probes to the stars closest to us, but we are using light from distant beacon-OB stars to detect the edge of the Milky Way,” Barba added, adding that we are in the Milky Way. The exploration age is faced with the same debates and problems faced by the great explorers on the earth in the 16th and 17th centuries. “In early map expeditions, the Baja California peninsula seemed to be separated from the American continent until enough data was obtained to prove that it was not an island. Now, we are debating whether the galactic arm to which the sun belongs is connected to other arms at some point, Or is it only on one island.”

Pantaleoni González recounted the moment the team discovered the Cepheus branch. “When we discovered the Spurs, there was no explosive revelation, but something inside me changed. This is what attracts you and gives meaning to so many efforts,” he said. “we are at [astrophysicist] Jesus [Apellániz]When he started to check the computer at this density of points on the map. I ran to make a special chart to see if it was consistent with the idea that there was a structure there and it appeared. “

The young scientist alternated in college classes while working at the Spanish Astrobiology Center. He explained that his mentor, Apellániz, has an unusual research method: “He does not draw general conclusions by exploring thousands of data, but examines it on a case-by-case basis. If you are looking for obvious This “manual” way of working is inefficient, but when you find subtle clues about what nature is showing us, this way of working can be very efficient.”


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