Stellar Stream

The last of its kind? Space

The last of its kind?

Stellar streams consist of groups of stars moving in orbit together. They are usually remnants of small galaxies that were absorbed by larger galaxies or former star clusters. The Phoenix stream discovered four years ago is the latter. It was, as researchers show in an article in Nature, once a globular cluster, and a very special one at that. Globular clusters are special objects in themselves. Imagine the night sky full of gleaming stars shining much brighter than the brightest planets in our Solar System. The average distance between two stars of a globular cluster is only 0.1 light-years,…
4000 stars: there’s a river of stars flowing through the Sun’s neighborhood Space

4000 stars: there’s a river of stars flowing through the Sun’s neighborhood

And from the cluster sprang forth a river: that’s not an attempt to be lyrical, just cosmic reality. When stars are born in a star cluster, they often only spend their youth in this group. As time goes on, the entire star cluster starts to feel the effects of gravitational forces from nearby galaxies. Like all stars of the galaxy, the cluster is flung around its core, deforming it over time, with the cluster becoming longer and longer and finally forming a stellar stream – a group of stars traipsing together through the galaxy. (mais…)