The Gaia telescope reveals fragments of the origin of the Milky Way galaxy's formation 12 billion years ago

The Gaia space telescope, dedicated to mapping the Milky Way, has identified two groups of ancient stars at the heart of our galaxy that formed 12 billion years ago, according to a recent study.

With their regular rotational motion, these two “stellar streams” each have a mass equal to 10 million suns, like the “primary building blocks” of the Milky Way's ancient core. Its current spiral shape, said Kayati Malhan of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany to AFP.

“This is the first time we have been able to identify parts of this proto-galaxy,” explained the lead author of the study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, which has two named Shakti and Shiva. Hindu gods, “their union led to the origin of the universe.”

The European Space Agency's Gaia probe, which has been operating 1.5 million kilometers from Earth for 10 years, has provided a 3D map of the locations and movements of more than 1.8 billion stars by 2022.

The map was able to identify a group of stars nicknamed the “Poor Old Hearts” because of their aging due to their weak metallicity (a chemical indicator of a star's age) and their central location.

This is an important step for Hungarian archaeology, which aims to reconstruct different periods of the Milky Way's history “just as archaeologists reconstruct the history of a city,” the Max Planck Institute explained in a statement.

Thus, the Milky Way's evolution model simulates “an ancient central city surrounded by new regions,” the company said.

But “as we go back in time and space, the picture of galactic history becomes blurred,” says Kayati Malhan.

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So astronomers investigated this ancient nucleus, which they found in 2022. They sampled 6 million stars and analyzed their chemistry and location, in particular, using artificial intelligence.

Thus, they put their fingers on two “stellar streams” that formed in the early ages of the Milky Way, 12 to 13 billion years ago, Shakti and Shiva.

Surprisingly, their stars have unusually high metallicities for stars of this age. This is a possible indication that he is descended from an earlier generation of stars. When she died, she released chemical elements that “seeded” the interstellar gas from which the Shakti and Shiva stars formed.

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