(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers at the University of Sydney have discovered a giant cluster of dead stars in the Milky Way.
The discovery is reported in an article published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The “galactic underworld” consists of black holes and neutron stars and shows a fundamentally different distribution of objects and structure compared to the visible galaxy.
30 percent of the “dead” stars were ejected from the Milky Way, and the thickness of the cluster is more than three times the thickness of the parent galaxy.
Compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes are formed when stars more than eight times as massive as the sun collapse, accompanied by a supernova explosion.
The outer gas shell is ejected into interstellar space, and the core is compressed and, depending on the initial mass, turns into either superdense neutron stars or black holes.
Due to the asymmetry of the explosion, compact objects can be ejected in a random direction outside the visible galactic disk at speeds up to several million kilometers per hour.
Scientists modeled the full life cycle of ancient stars to map the distribution of ancient star remnants.
The cluster of neutron stars and black holes turned out to be thicker than the Milky Way itself, and does not correspond to the spiral structure of the galaxy.
Some of the “underworld” objects may even be in the immediate stellar environment of the Sun.
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