A ‘ghost from the past’ recalls the infancy of the Milky Way

  • December 12, 2015
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A ‘ghost from the past’ recalls the infancy of the Milky Way
When our galaxy was born, around 13 billion years ago, a plethora of clusters containing millions of stars emerged. But over time, they have been disappearing. However, hidden behind younger stars that were formed later, some old and dying star clusters remain, such as the so-called E 3. Astronomers have now studied this testimony to the beginnings of our galaxy. Globular clusters are spherical-shaped or globular stellar groupings - hence its name- which can contain millions of stars. There are about 200 of them in the Milky Way, but few are as intriguing to astronomers as the E 3 cluster. It is situated around 30,000 light years away, in the southern constellation of Chameleon.

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