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October 21, 2019 Monday 11:11:35 AM IST

Older stars outpace youngsters in Galaxy

Science Innovations

The oldest stars in our Galaxy are also the busiest, moving more rapidly than their younger counterparts in and out of the disk of the Milky Way, according to new analysis carried out at the University of Birmingham.

The findings provide fresh insights into the history of our Galaxy and increase our understanding of how stars form and evolve.
Researchers calculate that the old stars are moving more quickly in and out of the disc - the pancake-shaped mass at the heart of the Galaxy where most stars are located.Stars towards the outskirts could be knocked by gravitational interactions with smaller galaxies passing by.

The researchers found that the older stars were moving in many different directions with some moving very quickly out from the galactic disk. Younger stars move closely together at much slower speeds out from the disc, although they are faster than the older stars as they rotate around the Galaxy within the disc.


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