Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New 'alien invader' star clusters found in Milky Way

Date:
February 26, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
As many as one quarter of the star clusters in our Milky Way -- many more than previously thought -- are "invaders" from other galaxies, according to a new study.

As many as one quarter of the star clusters in our Milky Way -- many more than previously thought -- are invaders from other galaxies, according to a new study.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As many as one quarter of the star clusters in our Milky Way -- many more than previously thought -- are invaders from other galaxies, according to a new study. The report also suggests there may be as many as six dwarf galaxies yet to be discovered within the Milky Way rather than the two that were previously confirmed.

"Some of the stars and star clusters you see when you look into space at night are aliens from another galaxy, just not the green-skinned type you find in a Hollywood movie. These 'alien' star clusters that have made their way into our galaxy over the last few billion years," says Terry Bridges, an astronomer at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

The study (co-authored by Duncan Forbes of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia) has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Previously, astronomers had suspected that some star clusters, which contain from 100,000 to a million stars each, were foreign to our galaxy, but it was difficult to identify which ones.

Using mostly Hubble Space Telescope data, Mr. Bridges and Mr. Forbes examined old star clusters within the Milky Way galaxy. From the research they compiled the largest ever high-quality database to record the age and chemical properties of each of these clusters.

"We looked at all the data we could find. The best data are from the Hubble Telescope because it has the best imaging," Bridges says. "We looked at the ages and the amounts of heavy elements in these clusters, which can be measured from their stars."

The researchers' work also suggests that the Milky Way may have swallowed-up more dwarf galaxies than was previously thought. They found that many of the foreign clusters originally existed within dwarf galaxies -- 'mini' galaxies of up to 100 million stars that sit within our larger Milky Way. The study suggests that there are more of these accreted dwarf galaxies in our Milky Way than was thought.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Duncan A. Forbes and Terry Bridges. Accreted versus In Situ Milky Way Globular Clusters. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.A, Jan 25, 3010 [link]

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "New 'alien invader' star clusters found in Milky Way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226161428.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, February 26). New 'alien invader' star clusters found in Milky Way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226161428.htm
Queen's University. "New 'alien invader' star clusters found in Milky Way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226161428.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Has Finally Reached Mars

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Has Finally Reached Mars

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) After a 10-month voyage through space, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is now orbiting the Red Planet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

AFP (Sep. 21, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship blasts off toward the International Space Station, carrying a load of supplies and science experiments for the astronauts living there. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's MAVEN To Study Martian Atmosphere

NASA's MAVEN To Study Martian Atmosphere

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) NASA's Maven will soon give information that could explain what happened to Mars' atmosphere. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins