At the center of most spiral galaxies are giant clusters of stars – bulges. The Milky Way galaxy, which includes our solar system, has a central bulge of more than a quarter of a billion stars.
This became known from the results of a large-scale study with the participation of a group of astronomers at the Sero Tolo Observatory in Chile. With the help of a four-meter telescope equipped with a DECam camera, the scientists were able to obtain a unique image of the starry sky or, more precisely, a scalable color composite image of 50,000 x 25,000 pixels. The observations were carried out in several ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum – ultraviolet, optical and infrared.
The resulting array of information enabled scientists to conduct a chemical analysis of 70,000 stars in the central bulge of the Milky Way, the results of which revealed that they are approximately “the same age” in age and have a similar chemical composition.
One of the project leaders, Christian Johnson, clarifies that since all spiral galaxies are similar to the Milky Way, the processes of the formation of bulges in them, most likely, proceeded according to a similar scenario.