American astronomers have discovered a star stream in our galaxy, which has unique characteristics. Data from the Gaia telescope showed that all 468 stars in this stream were born simultaneously and are moving in the same direction.
Stars are known to form in groups. Until recently, these clusters were thought to be spherical in shape. But in recent years, astrophysicists have begun to discover so-called “star streams” – star clusters in the form of long, elongated chains.
According to the latest data, there are 8292 such streams in the Milky Way. One of them, called Teia 456, has attracted particular attention from scientists.
It stretches 500 light years. It is located in the galactic plane of the Milky Way and has long been “lost” in the background of 400 million other stars.
“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Or, in this case, finding ripples in the ocean,” noted Northwestern University astrophysicist Jeff Andrews.
The study found that all of the stream stars have the same iron content. Consequently, they formed at the same time – about 100 million years ago.
It also became known that all stars move in the same direction. This also points to their common origin.
The authors of the study noted that they used artificial intelligence in the search for stellar streams. It analyzed vast amounts of stellar data. The scientists then developed algorithms to relate this data to pre-existing stellar catalogs. They emphasized that “combining datasets and intelligent analysis is essential to understanding the universe around us.”