(ORDO NEWS) — A team of scientists from the University of Notre Dame and Tohoku University has identified the birthplace of gold-rich stars. These stars contain a large number of heavy elements, including gold and platinum.
Hundreds of gold-rich stars have been discovered using state-of-the-art telescopes around the world. The mystery was when, where and how these stars formed in the Milky Way, the galaxy in which we live.
Scientists have found that most of these stars formed in the Milky Way’s small parent galaxies more than 10 billion years ago.
To reach this conclusion, the team traced the formation of the Milky Way from the Big Bang to the present using computer simulations.
It was conducted over several months using the ATERUI II supercomputer at the Computational Science Center of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
Simulations have made it possible for the first time to analyze the formation of gold-rich stars in the Milky Way.
Simulation data showed that some of the progenitor galaxies that existed more than 10 billion years ago contained large amounts of heavy elements.
Each neutron star merger event increased the amount of heavy elements in these small galaxies.
Yutaka Hirai, a researcher at Tohoku University, said: “The gold-rich stars today are telling us the story of the Milky Way. We found that most gold-rich stars formed in dwarf galaxies over 10 billion years ago.
These ancient galaxies are the building blocks of the Milky Way. Our results mean that many of the gold-rich stars we see today are fossil evidence for the formation of the Milky Way over 10 billion years ago.”
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