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"Contrary to what had been accepted up to now, we found that the formation of stars has not been continuous," adds Francisco Nogueras-Lara, who led two new studies of the Milky Way central region while at the same institute in Granada.
In the study, published today in Nature Astronomy, the team found that about 80% of the stars in the Milky Way central region formed in the earliest years of our galaxy, between eight and 13.5 billion years ago. This initial period of star formation was followed by about six billion years during which very few stars were born. This was brought to an end by an intense burst of star formation around one billion years ago when, over a period of less than 100 million years, stars with a combined mass possibly as high as a few tens of million Suns formed in this central region.
"The conditions in the studied region during this burst of activity must have resembled those in 'starburst' galaxies, which form stars at rates of more than 100 solar masses per year," says Nogueras-Lara, who is now based at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. At present, the whole Milky Way is forming stars at a rate of about one or two solar masses per year.
"This burst of activity, which must have resulted in the explosion of more than a hundred thousand supernovae, was probably one of the most energetic events in the whole history of the Milky Way," he adds. During a starburst, many massive stars are created; since they have shorter lifespans than lower-mass stars, they reach the end of their lives much faster, dying in violent supernova explosions.
originally posted by: gallop
Damn, there is simply absolutely no way every one of those suns does not have a planet inhabited by life. Just unfathomable to consider that...
What an amazing place the enormity of the universe is...
originally posted by: Plotus
Were the only life in the Universe on this little Flat planet Earth..
originally posted by: valiant
When you're going through the mostly mundane motions of life on this little planet and all the things you worry about and fret over, thinking this is it, Then you see things like this and are reminded of the enormity, beauty and unknown wonders out there. Makes everything seem a little bit magical for a moment.
originally posted by: Charliebrowndog
a reply to: mtnshredder
It is amazing when you consider everything we cannot see as well. What if there are different dimensions that we cannot detect,. The size of this footage would be tiny. Makes you really think what is the meaning of it all and why something like politics, money, etc have become so important to many when in reality it doesn't mean squat.