(ORDO NEWS) — Astrophysicists conducted another study, during which it was possible to establish that the metallicity of the Milky Way is not uniform.
This means that the galaxy contains different amounts of elements that are much heavier than helium and hydrogen. An article detailing the results of the study was published in the scientific journal Nature.
The interstellar medium is enriched due to the active process of nucleosynthesis in the stars. Initially, outer space contains only helium and hydrogen, but gradually it is filled with atoms of rather heavy elements. If we take into account the models created earlier, then in the interstellar medium of our galaxy there is a uniform distribution of gases that come from outside its limits and those that have been enriched as a result of nucleosynthesis.
Experts from the USA, Chile, France used the data obtained with the help of two powerful telescopes Hubble and VLT in order to estimate at least approximately the ratio of these gases.
De Sia’s analysis said that a completely new method was also used to estimate the amount of dust and some individual elements – iron, oxygen, zinc, silicon and others.
As a result, it was possible to establish that the interstellar medium is not homogeneous. In some parts of the Milky Way, the metallicity index was no more than 10% of the solar one. Such a discovery now requires experts to change the evolution models of galaxies. And the Milky Way is no exception in this case.
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