Gaia telescope discovers two ancient streams of stars Shiva & Shakti

European Space Agency Gaia space telescope has made an unprecedented discovery, uncovering two ancient streams of stars Shiva and Shakti. led by Khyati Malhan of Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) In Germany, This revelation significantly expands our understanding of the galaxy Produce

Discovery of Shiva and Shakti streams:

  • MPIA was discovered by Khyati Malhan: Led by Khyati Malhan, Gaia observations have revealed two ancient stellar streams, Shiva and Shakti, that formed about 12 billion years ago.

  • Surprise at discovery of ancient structures: Malhan expresses surprise at the ability to uncover these ancient structures, which indicate significant changes in the galaxy since their formation.

Features and Structure:

  • Unique Classes and Chemical Structure: Through Gaia observations, researchers visualized the orbits of the stars, identifying two distinct structures with unique chemical compositions named Shakti and Shiva.

  • Month and Age: Each cluster contains about 10 million suns, consisting of stars 12 to 13 billion years old, which exhibit remarkably similar orbits and structures.

Galactic location and origin:

  • Location and Formation: Located toward the heart of the galaxy, these streams formed as separate fragments that merged into one galaxy early in its history, shedding light on the galaxy’s early formation.

  • Galactic Archaeology: The discovery of Gaia in 2022 revealed the oldest stars in the galaxy, which were born even before the galactic disk formed, suggesting a complex origin involving filaments of gas and dust.

Symbolism and Naming:

  • divine inspiration: Named after a divine couple in Hindu philosophy, Shiva and Shakti symbolize the creation of the universe, reflecting the distinctive characteristics of stellar streams.

  • orbital difference: While similar, the Shakti stars have slightly more distant orbits from the galactic center, featuring more circular paths than Shiva.

Importance and future prospects:

  • Understanding the Early Galaxy: The discovery provides insight into the early evolution of the galaxy, indicating its origin from long, irregular filaments of gas and dust, from which stars and galaxies eventually formed.

  • Future Insights: The upcoming Gaia data release may provide further understanding of these ancient components, which may contribute to ongoing research on the dynamics of star clusters, galaxies, and exoplanet discoveries beyond the Milky Way.

About Gaia Space Telescope:

  • Mission and Operations: Launched in December 2013, Gaia, operated by the European Space Agency, has been surveying the sky for more than a decade, collecting extensive data to create a detailed 3D map of the Milky Way.

  • Objectives and Contribution: In addition to mapping the Milky Way, Gaia data is used to study a variety of astronomical phenomena including star clusters, galaxies, and exoplanets, furthering our understanding of the dynamics of the universe.

Gaia telescope discovers two ancient streams of Shiva and Shakti stars_40.1

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