Our galaxy is evaporating as dead stars disappear from the Milky Way: what scientists have found
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When “star ghosts” leave their “graveyard”, our galaxy loses some of its mass, as a new research.
Scientists from the University of Sydney, Australia have created simulations that show that the Milky Way contains a huge amount of remnants of dead stars filling the “cosmic graveyard”. As a result of interactions with other stars, they can leave our galaxy, and thus the Milky Way gradually evaporates, writes ScienceAlert.
All stars die, even the brightest. But in fact, the brightest stars have the shortest life cycles. Such stars, in just a few million years, deplete all the hydrogen that sustains their life and eventually explode in the form of a supernova.
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Scientists believe that the remnants of such stars turn either into small neutron stars (their diameter can be 15 – 20 km, but the mass there are hundreds of times more of them than the Sun) or into stellar-mass black holes (also small-sized objects with a diameter of several kilometers and a mass 1.5 – 5 times greater than that of the Sun). All these objects will fill our galaxy, forming a “cosmic graveyard”.
But neutron stars are not so easy to detect unless they are pulsars. The same goes for stellar-mass black holes, which can only be detected when they are between an observer on Earth and a bright star in its background.
Scientists from the University of Sydney decided to create a map of the distribution of such stellar remnants in the Milky Way to understand their location. To do this, they created a special computer simulation.
Scientists have modeled how stellar remnants can change their location as a result of interactions with other stars. The results showed that these remnants of dead stars are distributed in a plane that is 3 times thicker than that of the visible part of the Milky Way. But scientists have discovered another unexpected aspect.
It turned out that approximately 30% of all old dead stars fly away from our galaxy due to interaction with other stars, which provided them with tremendous speed for flight. Scientists have even called this process “the disappearance of stellar ghosts from the cosmic graveyard.” This process suggests that over time the Milky Way “evaporates” or loses its mass.
Focus already wrote that scientists managed to solve a long-standing mystery that concerns two areas strong gamma radiation, which are in the form of huge spheres near the center of the Milky Way.