Jan 15, 2021

Examination of Theia 456 finds its nearly 500 stars were born at same time

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

The Milky Way houses 8292 recently discovered stellar streams—all named Theia. But Theia 456 is special.

A stellar stream is a rare linear pattern—rather than a cluster—of stars. After combining multiple datasets captured by the Gaia space telescope, a team of astrophysicists found that all of Theia 456’s 468 stars were born at the same time and are traveling in the same direction across the sky.

“Most stellar clusters are formed together,” said Jeff Andrews, a Northwestern University astrophysicist and member of the team. “What’s exciting about Theia 456 is that it’s not a small clump of stars together. It’s long and stretched out. There are relatively few streams that are nearby, young and so widely dispersed.”

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