Stellar Desert: Central Milky Way Lacks Young Stars

I found a cool article on Space.com, titled “Stellar Desert: Central Milky Way Lacks Young Stars.” by Samantha Mathewson. This article talks about the Milky Way Galaxy, which is home to our solar system, and is a spiral galaxy that accommodates billions of stars. Measuring the spread of these stars we can understand how the Milky Way formed over time. The article mentions, “Young stars called Cepheid’s are good growth markers because they regularly pulsate in brightness and the pulsations are tied to their overall luminosity.” Meaning we can observe the duration of bright periods and estimate the stars distance from Earth based on how bright they appear. Though, researchers have not found any young stars in the Milky Way’s inner disk. That can challenge current theories on the formation of the Milky Way. I found this article an interesting read because now I know that there are no young stars near the center of the Milky Way. Our galaxy consists of a flat disk with spiral arms, a central bulge, and spherical halo surrounding everything. The Milky Way holds over 100 billion stars, and is about 100,000 light years in diameter. The disk is about 1000 light years thick, and the sun is about 27,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. What was interesting that I learned from our lecture tutorial book is that since we are in the Milky Way Galaxy we are unable to take a picture of our entire galaxy form the outside. We did some measurements on a galaxy similar to ours to figure out the distance in light years of how far the sun was to the center the galaxy.

 

 

 

 

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