Tech UPTechnologyThey find one of the first stars in the...

They find one of the first stars in the Milky Way

The Milky Way galaxy is estimated to have originated more than 13 billion years ago . The latest studies suggest that it was formed by the fusion and accumulation of tiny halos that contain stars and gas, and that the oldest stars are at its center .

Now, a group of researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has made one of the latest discoveries about this galaxy. They have identified a star that was essential for the formation of the first chemical elements of the Milky Way .

Their study presents the discovery of one of the first stars in this galaxy, as well as one of the stars with the lowest observed metal content . This is located 7,500 light years from the Sun, in the halo of the Milky Way, and is along the line of sight of the constellation Lynx.

The finding was made using the spectra obtained with an optical imaging system ( OSIRIS ) at the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), specifically at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (in Garafía, La Palma).

The results suggest that the star named J0815 + 4729 is still in the main sequence. Its mass is low, about 0.7 times the mass of the Sun , although it has a surface temperature of 400 degrees higher .

The technique used, called spectroscopy , has allowed astronomers to break down the light of celestial objects to study their physical and chemical properties. This reveals that the star has only one millionth of the calcium and iron that the sun contains , but has a comparatively high carbon content, almost 15% of the solar abundance.

As David Aguado , research student and lead author of the project, explains, “we know of only a few stars of this type in the halo, where the oldest and poorest metal stars in our galaxy are found.”

A not so unknown star

J0815 + 4729 had already been observed before . This was first identified from the SDASS ( Sloan Digital Sky Survey ) database, and then observed with the ISIS intermediate dispersion spectrograph, at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, which also It is at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory.

Carlos Allende Prieto, another IAC researcher, assures that ” this star was hidden in the database of the BOSS project , among a million stellar spectra that we have analyzed, which require a considerable effort of observation and computation. It requires high resolution spectroscopy in large telescopes to detect the chemical elements in the star, which can help us understand the first supernovae and their progenitors . “

At the moment, it is expected that, in the near future, the HORS high-resolution spectrograph (currently in the test phase) will be a key instrument for the chemical analysis of faint stars like this one . In addition, the detection of lithium present is currently providing vital information for the study of aspects related to phenomena such as the Big Bang.

Reference: David S. Aguado et al, J0815 + 4729: A Chemically Primitive Dwarf Star in the Galactic Halo Observed with Gran Telescopio Canarias, The Astrophysical Journal (2018). DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / aaa23a

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