(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists know about hundreds of stars in which precious metals have been found.
For a long time, researchers had no idea when and how these unique celestial bodies formed, and only recently a group of Japanese and American astronomers managed to answer this question.
There are many stars in space that are rich in heavy elements, including noble metals such as gold and platinum.
For comparison, in the Sun, one of the heaviest elements – iron – is only about 0.16 percent, and no traces of gold have been found at all.
But how and when were the “golden” stars formed? To answer this question, an international team of astronomers from the University of Notre Dame (USA) and Tohoku University (Japan) had to track the entire history of the formation of the Milky Way (our Galaxy was chosen as a model), from the Big Bang to the present.
To do this, the team used digital simulation, which has the most accurate temporal resolution. The simulation took several months and was carried out using the ATERUI II supercomputer at the Computational Science Center of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
The simulation data showed that the source of the “golden” stars was the dwarf galaxies – the “progenitors” of the Milky Way, in which these stars first flared up more than ten billion years ago.
Colliding with each other, these small galaxies merged together, which, as a result, as the researchers believe, led to the appearance of the modern Milky Way.
In other words, modern “golden” stars are one of the oldest in the Universe, a kind of “space fossils”, by studying which we can, as it were, look into the past.
By comparing data obtained through simulations with observations of real stars, scientists will be able to refine the history of the formation of our Galaxy.
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