VISTA telescope discovers hidden young stars in the Milky Way

Shane McGlaun - Oct 29, 2015, 8:00 am CDT
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VISTA telescope discovers hidden young stars in the Milky Way

Astronomers have made a new and interesting discovery about the Milky Way galaxy using the VISTA telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory. The discovery was previously unknown and involves a cluster of young stars that vary in brightness called Cepheids in the central bulge of the galaxy.

The disc of young stars was found hidden behind thick clouds of dust in the central buldge of our galaxy. The discovery was made using data taken from the 2010 and 2014 Vista Variables in the Via Lactea Survey that took images at different times of the central parts of the galaxy in infrared wavelengths.

The data recorded in that survey discovered a huge number of new objects ranging from variable stars to clusters and exploding stars. The central bulge of our galaxy was previously thought to contain a large number of old stars.

After the study was completed, scientists now know that there are stars that are very young by astronomical standards. The Cepheid stars expand and contract periodically and require time ranging from a few days to a few months to cycle completely and during the changes their brightness varies significantly. About 35 of the Cepheids discovered fall into a sub-group called classical Cepheids, which are young very bright stars. Additional study is being performed to determine if the stars formed where they are now or formed in further out in the galaxy.

SOURCE: ESO


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