Stellar Desert: Scientists Find Puzzling Hole in Middle of the Milky Way

Scientists has discovered a stellar desert near the center of the Milky Way.

Stellar Desert, Milky Way

This stellar desert near the middle of the Milky Way galaxy, which is also called the Extreme Inner Disk, is completely devoid of young stars. This was discovered by two groups of scientists using a near-infrared telescope. The distance extends roughly 8,000 light years from the center of the galaxy and it’s unknown why it’s like this.

A near-infrared telescope had to be used in the research due to the lack of visibility around the area. This is due to interstellar dust that can block out light and hide young stars from view. The telescope that was used for the researcher is based in Sutherland, South Africa.

Scientists did find a few young stars within 150 light years of very center of the galaxy, but the stellar desert around it not containing any young stars is strange, to say the least. Some radio astronomers have also reported no new stars being born in this region of the Milky Way galaxy.

“The current results indicate that there has been no significant star formation in this large region over hundreds of millions years,” Giuseppe Bono, an author of the research into the stellar desert, said in a statement. “The movement and the chemical composition of the new Cepheids are helping us to better understand the formation and evolution of the Milky Way.”

Scientists often use young stars as a way to determine how the galaxy was formed. They’re much younger than the Sun and pulse different levels of brightness over their lives. This is used to measure how far away they are from the Earth.

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