Surprising discovery on hot stars and white dwarfs in the globular cluster Omega Centauri

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Surprising discovery on hot stars and white dwarfs in the globular cluster Omega Centauri Blog Image

Overview:

Astronomers and scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), while studying the globular cluster Omega Centauri found that hot stars and white dwarfs emitted less ultraviolet radiation than expected.

Why in news?

  • A team of Scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics detected strange hot stars in the Globular clusters using the Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) images on Astro Sat (India’s first dedicated space observatory, which has been operating since 2015).

What are Globular clusters?

  • Globular clusters are spherical aggregates of several thousand to millions of stars bound by gravity. These systems are thought to have formed early on in the Universe and can serve as perfect astrophysical laboratories for astronomers to understand how stars evolve through various phases.
  • Omega Centauri is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus that was first identified as a non-stellar object by Edmond Halley in 1677.
  • Located at a distance of 17,090 light-years, it is the largest-known globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years.

What is Galaxy?

  • A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems bound together by gravity.
  • Milky Way, is stuffed with between 100 billion and 400 billion other stars, many of them with planets of their own. The Milky Way got its name from the way it looks from the ground: like a streak of spilt milk across the sky.

 


Q1) Can you see Omega Centauri from Earth?

Omega Centauri is visible to the unaided eye as a faint luminous patch.

Source: Indian Institute of Astrophysics team surprised by their discovery on hot stars and white dwarfs.