A quarter of globular star clusters in Milky Way are alien invaders
London, Feb 24 (ANI): A team of scientists from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia has determined that around a quarter of the globular star clusters in our Milky Way galaxy are alien invaders from other galaxies.
Swinburne astronomer Professor Duncan Forbes has shown that many of our galaxy's globular star clusters are actually foreigners - having been born elsewhere and then migrated to our Milky Way.
"It turns out that many of the stars and globular star clusters we see when we look into the night sky are not natives, but aliens from other galaxies," said Forbes.
"They have made their way into our galaxy over the last few billion years," he added.
Previously, astronomers had suspected that some globular star clusters, which each contain between 10,000 and several million stars were foreign to our galaxy, but it was difficult to positively identify which ones.
Using Hubble Space Telescope data, Forbes, along with his Canadian colleague Professor Terry Bridges, examined globular star clusters within the Milky Way galaxy.
They then compiled the largest ever high-quality database to record the age and chemical properties of each of these clusters.
"Using this database, we were able to identify key signatures in many of the globular star clusters that gave us tell-tale clues as to their external origin," Forbes said.
"We determined that these foreign-born globular star clusters actually make up about one quarter of our Milky Way globular star cluster system. That implies tens of millions of accreted stars - hose that have joined and grown our galaxy - from globular star clusters alone," he added. (ANI)