One way of understanding how the Earth began is by looking at how our galaxy was formed. This has been a challenge for astronomers, as looking back in time means looking far into the universe. That search might be nearer than expected, as a new family of stars discovered could hold answers to how the Milky Way was formed.
The new family of stars that have been discovered could be considered as unique, since the type of stars found there have only been seen inside globular clusters. Globular clusters are said to be the ancient remnants of a younger time in the galaxy's past. The new family of stars found could provide the answers that astronomers seek.
Ricardo Schiavon is the lead author of the study and an astronomer from LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute. He said that astronomers are just beginning to understand about galaxies and how they evolved. Globular clusters might hold those answers, but they reside deep in the Milky Way.
The new family of stars have stars that are similar to those found inside globular clusters, as Schiavon said on The Conversation. These stars were thought to be part of a globular cluster once. Many of the Milky Way's globular clusters have been destroyed as they have come in contact with giant molecular clouds. Only a remnant of those globular clusters could be found, of which the discovered family of stars could have been a part of.
The family of stars are rich in nitrogen, the same way that stars in globular clusters are. Finding the stars would revise the way astronomers think globular clusters have been formed. This would also revise the way people think the Milky Way has been formed.
The family of stars has been found while looking at stars near the Galactic Center, as Phys Org reports. Such stars might not be easy to find, as many of the early globular clusters have been destroyed. There might still be some such as the family of stars found that are holding out in parts of the Milky Way.
A new family of stars discovered could hold answers to how the Milky Way was formed. Schiavon said that it could be possible that globular clusters might be the normal way stars are being formed. Scientists are also trying to find out how massive stars have been born.