24/7 Space News  





. New Star Survey Sheds Light On Milky Way's Evolution

This is a false-colour composite of nebulosity in the vicinity of the HII region, IC 1396B, in Cepheus. The image scale here is roughly 15 x 15 square arcminutes, with N to the left and E down. Credits: Nick Wright, University College London.

London, UK (SPX) Sep 21, 2005
The first survey of the entire northern Milky Way for forty years is shedding fresh light on the life-cycle of stars in our astronomical backyard.

The survey, which publishes its initial findings today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, uses the latest high resolution instruments to seek out stars and nebulae in the early and late phases of their evolution, stages that are rarely observed because they are so short-lived. Lead researcher Professor Janet Drew , of the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, says:

"These are crucial evolutionary stages in the growth and death of planetary systems, and many of the major unsolved problems in stellar evolution are to do with the fact that we have had relatively few examples to work with.

"The last time the northern Milky Way was searched in a concerted way was the 1960s, using much smaller telescopes and now obsolete detection methods. This new survey has the potential to greatly expand our understanding of how our own Solar System came to be and what it will become."

The UK, Dutch and Spanish team is using the 2.5 metre Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) to detect stars and bodies of gas that emit strongly at the wavelength of red light called H alpha. H alpha is emitted by excited atoms of hydrogen, allowing scientists to pick out both young, potential planet-building systems and old objects that will soon become compact white dwarfs or supernova explosions.

These are particularly important in understanding the evolution of galaxies, since youthful stars help to shape the growth of planetary systems while those in old age recycle energy and chemically enriched matter back into the galactic environment as they collapse.

The new survey reaches beyond the sun's orbit around the centre of the Milky Way to a radius of 30 kiloparsecs (kpc) around 90,000 light years. Currently almost nothing is known about the star populations beyond a distance of about 15 kpc. Professor Drew adds:

"At the moment, very little is known about the far reaches of the Milky Way's disc there's still uncertainty in its spiral arm structure, and we don't really know where the stars run out. Recent technical developments, which have boosted both the efficiency of large-scale astronomical surveys and their quality in a major way, mean we now have the opportunity to survey the galaxy we live in at hugely improved sensitivity."

The team expects to complete its observations in late 2006 with a total of around 80 million objects catalogued. Current images can be viewed here.

Related Links
SpaceDaily
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


hello world
The Galactic Centre Region
Paris, France (SPX) Sep 15, 2005
In an article to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, Belanger et al. present the results of a detailed analysis of approximately 1900 hours of observations of the galactic centre, obtained with Integral since the launch of the spacecraft in October 2002.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Aeronautics And Space Funding Will Preserve U.S. Aerospace Leadership
  • World's Third Space Tourist Ready For Journey
  • A September Surprise For China's Second Manned Launch - Shenzhou 6
  • Russian and Ukrainian Space Agencies Outline Space Exploration Vision For 2007-2011

  • Orbiter's Long Life Helps Scientists Track Changes On Mars
  • Insight Into MARSIS Radar Data Analysis
  • NASA Sees Possible 'Mars Quake'
  • Erebus Bound

  • Orbital Selected By NASA For Major Long-Term Launch Services Contract
  • NASA Awards Launch Services Contract To Orbital Sciences
  • Russia Launches Canadian Satellite
  • Historic Tower At Launch Complex 13 Toppled

  • NASA Cooperative Airborne Laser Mapping Studies Katrina Damage
  • Envisat Sensors Measuring Heat And Light
  • Orbimage Announces Agreement To Purchase Assets Of Space Imaging
  • Satellites Spot Mighty Mississippi - In the Atlantic Ocean

  • Santa et al
  • Hubble Makes Movie Of Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere
  • Gemini Samples Spectrum Of 2003 UB313: Pluto-Like Surface
  • Scientists Discover Tenth Planet

  • New Star Survey Sheds Light On Milky Way's Evolution
  • The Galactic Centre Region
  • Star Death Beacon At The Edge Of The Universe
  • Astronomers Discover Fastest Intergalactic Space Traveller

  • Digging "Moon Dirt" Is NASA's Fifth Centennial Challenge
  • With Moon Mission, US Seeks To Remain Leader In Space
  • How We'll Get Back To The Moon
  • NASA Releases Plans For Next Generation Spacecraft

  • 2-Track Global Announces Successful Testing Of Starfish Product
  • Garmin To Provide GPS Applications For Mobile Phone Users
  • Navman Unveils New Pocket-Sized iCN 320 Portable Navigation Device
  • Father, Son Reflect On History, Future Of GPS

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement