Scientists Estimate Milky Way's Age By Decoding Starquake Vibrations


Scientists have answered the long-standing question about the age of Milky Way. Starquake vibrations will help scientists find the details of its thick ring.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Recently, the Royal Astronomical Society published a Journal which discussed how NASA's Kepler space telescope has recorded Starquakes. Scientists are now trying to decode the pattern of these Starquakes. The Milky Way, in which the solar system lies, is a spiral-shaped galaxy consisting of two disc-like structures, known as 'thick' and 'thin.' The thick disc contains 20 percent of the galaxy's total stars. It is also considered to be older of the pair based on scientific explanations and findings of its composition and vertical puffiness.
A team of 38 scientists led by the researchers of Australia's ARC, Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions ( ASTRO 3D) calculated that the disc is nearly 10 billion years old. However, it is said that the scientists have used the now-defunct research data for this calculation.

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Dr Sanjib Sharma, lead Author from ASTRO 3D and Australia's University of Sydney said, "This finding clears up a mystery. Earlier data about the age distribution of stars in the disc didn't agree with the models constructed to describe it, but no one knew where the error lay -- in the data or the models. Now we're pretty sure we've found it."

Kepler's contributions in K2 mission

"Stars are just spherical instruments full of gas, but their vibrations are tiny, so we have to look at them very carefully. The exquisite brightness measurements made by Kepler were ideal for that. The telescope was so sensitive it would have been able to detect the dimming of a car headlight when something as small as a flea flew across it," Sharma said. Asteroseismology is the method used by scientists to find out the age of the rings around stars. It a way of identifying the internal structures of stars by measuring their oscillations from star-quakes. In 2013, Kepler broke down during a mission, however, NASA reprogrammed it to carry on the work in a reduced capacity. Kepler during the time it was broken down was being used for the K2 mission. As per the newer spectroscopic analysis, the chemical composition incorporated in existing models for stars in the thick disc was wrong, which had then affected the prediction of their ages.

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(With ANI inputs)

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