New Scientist | Space | 18 June 2010
A cluster of young stars has been found at a record-breaking distance from our galaxy's centre.
The outskirts of the Milky Way are not known for stellar activity, as the raw materials needed to build stars are sparse there. But Giovanni Carraro of the European Southern Observatory in Chile and colleagues have found two groups of young stars in this area. The more distant of these lies some 65,000 light years from the galactic centre, near the outer edge of the Milky Way's outermost arm.
The region has been overlooked as a site of star formation, Carraro says. The finding suggests models used to predict populations of stars in any given direction may need to be revised. "It's adding another degree of complexity to understanding that region of the sky," says Kenneth Janes of Boston University. He says the stars may be from a cannibalised galaxy.
The edge of the young Galactic disc
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1006.1277 > 07 Jun 2010