The following is an excerpt from MEGHAN BARTELS | January 11, 2018 | newsweek.com |
Astronomers wading through nine years' worth of data from 10,000 stars at the heart of our galaxy have been able to map their paths to better understand how stars in the densest neighborhood of the Milky Way behave. The team of scientists reported on the project in a preprint paper they are presenting this week at the annual conference of the American Astronomical Society.
The galaxy's core, also known as the Milky Way's bulge, is about 26,000 light-years away from us here on Earth. Astronomers had thought most of its stars were fairly old, but because it's so jam-packed, the region has always been a challenge to study.
For the new research, scientists turned to the Hubble Space Telescope to look for stars that are fairly similar to our own sun.
"Hubble gave us a narrow, pencil-beam view of the galaxy’s core, but we are seeing thousands more stars than those spotted in earlier studies," Annalisa Calamida, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said in a press release.
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