Ancient stars have been discovered in the centre of the Milky Way for the first time.
The European Space Observatory’s infrared VISTA telescope spotted the so-called RR Lyrae stars, which typically reside in ancient stellar populations more than 10 billion years old, in the central bulge of our galaxy.
Their discovery, which will be published in The Astrophysical Journal, suggests that the bulging centre of the Milky Way likely grew through the merging of primordial star clusters. These stars may even be the remains of the most massive and oldest surviving star cluster of the entire galaxy.
In the video above, take a flight into the very centre of the Milky Way where these RR Lyrae stars are found.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.