Gaia spacecraft discovers Milky Way’s parents after 13 billion years

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With the help of the Gaia spacecraft run by the European Space Agency (ESA), astronomers have tracked down two streams of stars that may have formed the Milky Way galaxy.

Based on information provided by Universe Today, there are about ten million stars within the two streams named “Shakti” and “Shiva”, which are all 12 to 13 billion years old.

The spiral arms and disk that are formed by these stars were likely formed even before the stars themselves came together. There is a similarity in their orbits, and their compositions are quite similar as well. In addition, it is probable that these galaxies were once separate, but soon after the Big Bang, they fused into the Milky Way galaxy.

Khyati Malhan, the lead author of the paper, who is based at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany, said in a press release issued by the ESA, “What’s truly amazing is that we are able to detect these ancient structures to begin with.”

We would never have expected to be able to recognize these stars as a group so clearly since the Milky Way has changed so dramatically in the past few decades. But the time-saving data we’re getting from Gaia has made it possible for us to do just that.”

According to Gaia, Astrometry is a scientific field of study that aims to measure stars, other celestial bodies, and their positions and movements through precise measurements. Nearly two billion objects are being studied by the project in order to build the most precise three-dimensional map of our galaxy ever created.

According to the researchers in their paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, the Shakthi and Shiva populations are characterized by a combined orbital and abundance property that has previously not been observed,” the authors wrote.

Timenews1 provided that news.

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