Astronomers are fascinated by an unusual stellar structure. It is a cluster, and it seems to be one of the oldest in the universe. In other words, it is a reminiscent star cluster, dating from the times when the Milky Way started to form. Scientists expect to discover new information on the evolution of our galaxy.
The reminiscent star cluster is located in the Sagittarius constellation, between the Sun and Sun and Alpha Centauri. It is called Terzan 5, and only recent research was able to determine its venerable age. In light of this discovery, scientists intend to focus their attention in a different direction. The new analyses of the stellar structure will provide them with additional data on how the Milky Way formed and developed to the stage they can observe today.
Terzan 5 was first discovered forty years ago and was taken for a regular star cluster. However, a European team of researchers has recently noticed the importance of Terzan 5, and they identified it as a reminiscent star cluster. It could also be called a fossil of our Milky Way. It is a unique stellar structure, the only one of its kind discovered so far. The leader of the team is Italian Francesco Ferraro.
Specialists deem that Terzan 5 is only a part of a much wider formation. As such, it is a globular cluster. According to the researchers who studied it, this globular cluster is made of two different star populations, with different ages. One of them is believed to have formed at the same time as the Sun.
Based on the information provided by the feature of this old stellar structure, the researchers will be able to study key facts in the evolution of our Milky Way. It is highly important for scientists to understand the process of formation of a galaxy. They consider themselves lucky for being able to study such valuable material like the reminiscent star cluster.
Francesco Ferraro and his team will be searching the skies for similar structures. They will never lose hope that they can find another old formation which could reveal other mysteries of the universe.
The fact that Terzan 5 was initially considered to be a regular star cluster leads researchers to believe that many important discoveries are closer to them than they might expect. They are also looking forward to unveiling the secrets that the reminiscent star cluster has been hiding for ages about the evolution of our galaxy.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia