Astronomers find oldest stars ever near center of Milky Way

Shane McGlaun - Nov 12, 2015, 4:30 am CDT
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Astronomers find oldest stars ever near center of Milky Way

Astronomers have found some truly ancient stars near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. These stars are believed to have formed when the Universe was only 300 million years old. Scientists say that while these stars are surprisingly pure, they do contain material from an even older star that exploded in something called a hypernova.

The new stars near the center of the Milky Way galaxy were here before our galaxy formed around them. There are nine of these ancient stars total and the astronomers studying them say that the pure stars have challenged theories about the environment in the early Universe where these stars formed.

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The pure stars have low levels of carbon, iron, and other heavy elements and scientists believe that suggests that the first stars may not have exploded as normal supernovae. The team believes that these early stars may have ended their lives as a hypernovae, believed to have been much stronger explosion than supernovae to the tune of ten times as powerful.

Astronomers say that finding the old and very pure stars was like finding a needle in a haystack since there are billions of stars in the Milky Way center. The discovery of the old stars near the Milky Way center was made after the team discovered an old age star on the edge of the Milky Way in 2014.

SOURCE: Eurekalert.org


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