Academic journal article Science Scope

Battle to Understand the Bulge

Academic journal article Science Scope

Battle to Understand the Bulge

Article excerpt

An international team of astronomers has identified for the first time a thick stellar disc in the Andromed a galaxy, the nearest large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. The d is cover y of the thick disc, a major result from a five-year investigation, will help astronomers better understand the processes involved in the formation and evolution of large spiral galaxies like ours, according to the team, which includes UCLA research astronomer Michael Rich and colleagues from Europe and Australia.

Using the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, the astronomers analyzed the velocities of individual bright stars within the Andromeda galaxy and were able to observe a group of stars tracing a thick disc--distinct from tho se making up the galaxy's already-known thin disc--and assessed how these stars differ fro m thin-disc stars in height, width, and chemistry.

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Approximately 70 percent of Andromeda's stars are contained in the galaxy's thin stellar disc. …

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