Stars beginning to illuminate the galaxies don’t represent something new, but their view is truly stunning. Stephen Hawking (RIP) was also amazed by the beauty of the stars, even in the context of denying the existence of a divine and omnipotent being. He simply claimed, “they are beautiful”.
But capturing an image that is showing the formation of stars is truly remarkable. This is what scientists from Chile’s Atacama Desert managed to do while using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) array.
Over 100.000 supernovas
Astronomers created a high-resolution image of the center of Milky Way in its early years, and it reveals a burst of star formation extremely intense. More than 100.000 exploding stars were captured.
Rainer Schödel led the research, being also a member of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA) in Granada, Spain. He stated:
Our unprecedented survey of a large part of the Galactic centre has given us detailed insights into the formation process of stars in this region of the Milky Way,
80% of the stars from the core formed very early
The Milky Way galaxy began almost along with the Universe itself, 13.6 billion years ago. The Universe began 13.77 billion years ago since the Big Bang, so our galaxy is only a bit younger – 1.7 million years, which at an astronomical scale means almost nothing.
Scientists concluded that 80% of the stars from the core of our galaxy also formed themselves pretty yearly – between 8 and 13.5 billion years ago. ESO officials said in the statement that this initial amount of time regarding star formation in our galaxy was followed by six billion years during which ‘very few’ stars were formed. The officials continued by stating:
This was brought to an end by an intense burst of star formation around one billion years ago when, over a period of less than 100 million years, stars with a combined mass possibly as high as a few tens of million suns formed in this central region.