Astronomers have discovered a strange distribution of stars in the Triangulum galaxy

(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have found that young and old stars in the nearby Triangulum galaxy are located in completely different structures.

The Triangulum Galaxy is about 3 million light-years away. After Andromeda and the Milky Way , the Triangulum Galaxy is the largest galaxy in our local group of galaxies.

And it seems very strange, based on a new analysis by astronomers. It appears that younger and older stellar populations are separated by age, creating an unusual appearance for the galaxy.

The galaxy is 61,000 light-years across. It has a rectangular distribution of stars in the center and two large, well-defined spiral arms.

This is where the older stars are located, which make up most of the mass of the galaxy. But the brighter young stars are distributed in less visible spiral arms that extend around the two main ones.

Astronomers have discovered a strange distribution of stars in the Triangulum galaxy 2
Full composite Hubble image (left) showing only old stars (middle) and one showing only young stars (right)

“The youngest stars and oldest stars in the Triangulum Galaxy that we can separate using multi-wavelength filters on the Hubble Space Telescope are organized very differently,” said astronomer Adam Smerchina of the University of Washington.

“It’s amazing. For many galaxies, such as the Milky Way and Andromeda, stars are distributed roughly sequentially, regardless of their age.

This does not apply to the Triangulum galaxy.”

It took the space telescope 108 revolutions to see every part of the galaxy in detail.

“This was a largely unknown and hidden feature of the Triangulum Galaxy that was very difficult to see without such a detailed view,” Smerchina added.

It is not yet clear why the stars are distributed this way. The team hopes to collect even more information to understand the star formation history of this galaxy.


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