HomePOPULAREarliest Building Blocks of Milky Way Named Shakti and Shiva

Earliest Building Blocks of Milky Way Named Shakti and Shiva

In a groundbreaking discovery, astronomers have pinpointed the earliest “building blocks” of our Milky Way galaxy, shedding light on its ancient origins. These celestial structures, dating back 12-13 billion years ago, offer tantalizing insights into the galaxy’s formative years, akin to uncovering traces of a primordial settlement that evolved into a thriving metropolis.

Dubbed ‘Shakti’ and ‘Shiva’, these groups of stars represent crucial milestones in the Milky Way’s evolutionary journey. The galaxy, formed through the merger of smaller galaxies, witnessed the convergence of these significant stellar populations, akin to the merging of urban districts within a bustling cityscape.

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany conducted a meticulous analysis of stellar datasets, revealing distinct signatures of energy and angular momentum associated with the merging galaxies. These signatures delineated the formation of two distinct stellar groups, aptly named Shakti and Shiva.

Co-author Khyati Malhan drew inspiration from Hindu mythology, naming the structures after Shakti, a female cosmic force symbolizing creative energy, and Shiva, one of the principal deities representing destruction and renewal.

Notably, the stars comprising Shakti and Shiva exhibited higher angular momentum compared to their counterparts at the Milky Way’s core, indicating their extragalactic origins. Furthermore, their low metal content suggests their ancient pedigree, aligning with the characteristics of stars formed during the universe’s infancy.

The findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, underscore the pivotal role of Shakti and Shiva as potential progenitors of the Milky Way, shaping its trajectory towards galactic maturity. These celestial entities, originating from separate galaxies, represent seminal additions to the Milky Way’s burgeoning expanse, marking the onset of its transformation into a sprawling galactic entity.

Leveraging data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the researchers conducted an extensive galactic survey, harnessing the power of big data to unravel the Milky Way’s ancient past. Gaia’s comprehensive dataset, encompassing billions of stars, provided a wealth of information crucial for deciphering the galaxy’s intricate history.

As humanity delves deeper into the cosmos, discoveries like Shakti and Shiva illuminate the rich tapestry of our galactic heritage, offering glimpses into the celestial forces that shaped the universe as we know it.

Read Now:Milky Way’s Ancient Relics Unveiled: Meet Shiva and Shakti

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