The stellar currents that surround the Milky Way reveal a story in which it literally devoured a few of its fellow travelers. But they also provide valuable clues about the nature and distribution of the dark matter that surrounds our Galaxy.
“Think about your (United States). It’s still a little . “In the night, you only see the lights, but they give you an indication of its shape. » And it is with the same state of mind that the hope today to reveal the that surrounds the . From the observation of of a dozen stellar currents in the halo of our Galaxy.», comments Geraint Lewis, researcher at the University of Sydney (Australia), in a
The first information about thethat these star streams can bring to comes from their . They were able to determine it using the Anglo-Australian from the observatory of Siding Spring (Australia). But that’s not all, since an analysis of the chemical composition of the stars that make up these currents also gives information on the nature of dark matter.
“We are seeing these streams being disrupted by the Milky Way’s gravitational pull, and eventually becoming part of the Milky Way,” said @UofT‘s @sazabi_li, who started this work at @CarnegieAstro. “This study gives us a snapshot of the Milky Way’s feeding habits.” pic.twitter.com/N8n44AP9QH
— Carnegie Science (@carnegiescience) January 11, 2022
Twelve streams of stars under the eye of the telescope
And this is the first time that astronomers are interested not in a current of stars, but in “as many currents as possible”. That’s a dozen, for now. A work made possible in particular thanks to data from the. It provides very precise measurements of the positions and movements of the stars in question. What hope to identify new currents. And finally flush out the dark matter that surrounds our Galaxy.
This work will also help to understand how thewas born in an almost reliefless universe. By shredding and swallowing regularly smaller. “The most intriguing question about our ultimate origins”, according to Ting Li, a professor at the University of Toronto.