Astrophysicists have just discovered a new region in the Milky Way galaxy full of exploding, bright blue stars; Stars ready to explode and become supernovae.
Researchers with the European Space Agency (ESA) Gaia Telescope were working on the most detailed map of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy. They discovered And they named it “Cypheus Blade”. The blade, located between the “hunter’s arm” – where the solar system is located – and the constellation Bersavsh, is a belt between two spiral arms that contains a large number of stars three times the size of the sun and in blue.
Astronomers call these giant stars OB blue stars because of the often blue wavelengths they emit. These stars are the rarest, hottest, shortest, and largest stars in our galaxy. The reactions of insane nuclei in the center of exploding stars make them six times hotter than the sun. Massive explosions that end their lives send heavy elements to the galaxy that are essential for life.
“OB stars are rare,” said Michelangelo Pantaleoni Gonzalez, co-author of the study at the Spanish Center for Astrobiology. Their number in a galaxy with 400 billion stars may be less than 200,000. These stars are responsible for the formation of many heavy elements, and we can consider them as the chemical enrichers of the galaxy. “Because of the existence of such stars that died a long time ago, our planet’s soil chemistry became rich enough for biochemical rise.”
According to researchers, wherever we find blue stars, we can find the most active and vibrant regions of the galaxy. Using a technique called “star parallax,” the team was able to accurately calculate the exact distances of stars and draw more comprehensive maps than all previous maps of the Milky Way. By constantly observing the orbits of the stars in a fixed direction, the researchers were able to prove that the new region was not a random arrangement of several stars but part of the galaxy’s spiral arm.
They believe that by looking at the position of the Cephalus blade, which is slightly above the galactic disk, one can get exciting clues about the past of the Milky Way galaxy. “If we live in a wavy galaxy with vertical deformations or grooves on its disk, this could indicate a turbulent historical evolution of our galaxy,” says Gonzalez. “These signs may be a sign of previous collisions with other galaxies.”
The next step for scientists is to design a more accurate map with more OB stars. By doing so, they hope to learn more about the structure of the Milky Way.