Until now astronomers believed that stars are born at the same time in a single globular cluster, but according to the latest discoveries, generations of stars are born in a single globular cluster.
Scientists Believed All the Stars in a Cluster Had the Same Age
So far astronomers believed that all the stars in a cluster had the same age. They thought that a globular cluster formed the millions of stars that are found in its componence at around the same time, something similar to the twin phenomenon. But recent discoveries come to contradict the popular belief.
Generations of Stars Are Born in a Single Globular Cluster
Recently, scientists from the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Astronomy (KIAA) founded at the University of Peking alongside astronomers that represented the Astronomical Observatories of the Academy of Sciences in China (NAOC), the Adler Planetarium and the University of Northwestern have found that generations of stars are born in a single globular cluster.
The astronomers reached this conclusion after discovering newly born stars in globular clusters that were quite old.
Using the Hubble Telescope, the team observed newborn stars at among the old ones in a globular cluster. They believe the new stars were born thanks to the gas that flowed outside the clusters. The gas has star-forming properties.
These observations contradict the theory that dictated that the new stars in the fresh globular clusters are born after the previous ones die and start shedding the gas necessary for star formation.
Chengyuan Li, lead author of the study that is published in Nature journal, and astronomer at both NAOC and KIAA and affiliated scientist at the Purple Mountain Observatory says the study is very important since it reveals that the new stars in globular clusters have an outside origin, rather an inside one as it was believed until now.
Globular Clusters Are Much More Complex Than Previously Believed
Richard de Grijs, a colleague of Dr. Li, declared that globular clusters are much more complex than previously believed and that their theory is the first strong alternative to the old belief that was ever presented.
Keeping the “twin” analogy model, the astronomer explains that their finding is similar to the idea of the new stars being adopted by the old clusters and biologically birthed. This is due to the fact that the star-forming gas that is essential for the creation of another star comes from outside the globular cluster.
A globular cluster is a dense, spherical group of stars that usually orbit the outskirts of galaxies. The Milky Way, our galaxy, is the host of several hundreds of such clusters.
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