SYDNEY, March 7 (PNA/Xinhua) — The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Western Australian has discovered newly formed stars within a cluster of old stars, making scientists rethink what they know about stellar maps, it was announced Tuesday.
A star cluster is formed from a common origin and connected together by gravity, until now it was believed that these groups of stars were of a similar age and composition.
“Our models of stellar evolution are based on the assumption that stars within star clusters formed from the same material at roughly the same time,” International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research research fellow Dr Bi-Qing said.
“If this assumption turns out to be incorrect, as our findings suggest, then these important models will need to be revisited and revised.”
The study focused around the Large Magellanic Cloud, a stellar cluster neighboring the Milky Way.
Researchers found that by cross-matching thousands of young stars with the location of stellar clusters, they could ascertain that at least 15 stars were much newer than the others in the same cluster.
“The formation of these younger stars could have been fueled by gas entering the clusters from interstellar space,” co-author of the study Dr Kenji Bekki said.
“But we eliminated this possibility using observations made by radio telescopes to show that there was no correlation between interstellar hydrogen gas and the location of the clusters we were studying.”
“We believe the younger stars have actually been created out of the matter ejected from older stars as they die, which would mean we have discovered multiple generations of stars belonging to the same cluster.”