Scientists working with data from an experiment to study galactic evolution in a point
Scientists suggest that this "fossilgalaxy "collided with the Milky Way ten billion years ago, when our galaxy was still in its infancy. Astronomers named her Hercules in honor of the ancient Greek character who received the gift of immortality.
APOGEE does this by taking spectra of stars innear infrared light, instead of visible light dimmed by dust. Over ten years of observations, APOGEE has measured the spectra of more than half a million stars throughout the Milky Way, including its core, previously obscured by dust.
The researchers also noted that the remains of Herculesmake up about a third of the spherical halo of the Milky Way. However, they found it odd that the stars and gas from Hercules accounted for such a large percentage of the galactic halo, but they had not noticed it before. The answer lies in the fact that it is located deep within the Milky Way.
“To find a fossil galaxy like this,we had to look at the detailed chemical composition and movement of tens of thousands of stars, ”says Ricardo Schiavone of Liverpool John Moore University (LJMU) in the UK, one of the main members of the research team. “This is especially difficult for stars in the center of the Milky Way, since they are hidden from view by clouds of interstellar dust. APOGEE allows us to cut through this dust and look deeper than ever before into the heart of the Milky Way. "
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