Astronomers created a map of the “star cemetery” of the Milky Way

A team of Australian astronomers has created the first map of the “star cemetery” of the Milky Way. It demonstrates the location of the remains of the dead luminaries that once inhabited our galaxy.

Distribution map of the dead stars of the Milky Way. Source: University of Sydney

During its existence, the Milky Way has witnessed the death of many billions of its stars. Some turned into white dwarfs, and some ended their existence in blinding supernova flashes, leaving behind neutron stars and black holes.

To date, astronomers have already found many similar “stellar corpses” in the disk of the Milky Way. But in the past, our galaxy had a different shape and size. In addition, supernovae often work as a kind of accelerators, throwing the formed neutron stars and black holes outside the galactic disk. All this means that the distribution of the remnants of dead stars should not coincide with the outlines of the Milky Way.

To solve this problem, a team of Australian researchers has developed a simulation demonstrating the evolution of stars, their death and further scattering across our galaxy. Then, based on it, a distribution map of the remnants of the dead stars of the Milky Way was created.

A white dwarf in the artist’s image. Source: NASA, ESA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI)

The results surprised the researchers. It turned out that the “star cemetery” (the area in which the remains of dead stars are located) exceeds the height of the Milky Way by three times. In addition, up to 30% of its neutron stars were dispersed by supernova explosions to such high speeds that in the future they would leave the vicinity of our galaxy forever.

Earlier we talked about the discovery of a hot gas bubble in orbit around a black hole in the center of the Milky Way.

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