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Shiva And Shakti-Ancient Star Streams- 2024

Shiva And Shakti

Astronomers have discovered two ancient star streams named for the Hindu deities Shiva and Shakti. These stars may be among the Milky Way’s earliest constituents, providing fresh information about how our galaxy formed in the distant past.
The formations were discovered by utilising data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope. The scientists speculate that these objects could be remnants of two different galaxies that amalgamated approximately 12 billion years ago with the primordial components of the Milky Way during the galaxy’s early stages.

According to the experts, stars that originated 12–13 billion years ago and have comparable chemical makeup make up Shiva and Shakti. Every structure is around ten million times heavier than the sun.

Hindus believe that the universe was created as a result of Shiva and Shakti’s marriage. The identification of the Shiva and Shakti formations has provided insight into the chaotic early stages of the Milky Way.

“Broadly, our study addresses a very fundamental question of modern astrophysics: how do galaxies form in our universe?” The lead author of the study, German astronomer Khyati Malhan of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, opens a new tab. The work was published this week in the Astrophysical Journal.

What are milky ways?

The Milky Way is a massive spiral galaxy with a disc that is roughly 100,000 light years in diameter and is home to hundreds of billions of stars. The distance that light travels in a year is 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion kilometres), or one light year. Our solar system is located on one of the long spiralling arms of stars, gas, and dust that reach from the galactic centre.

Several things are triggered by the collisions and mergers of galaxies. Every galaxy contains a store of hydrogen gas, which gets destabilised when it collides and produces a large number of new stars. Naturally, before their collision, each galaxy will have its own population of stars; these so-called “accreted stars” will only make up a portion of the total stellar population that would make up the newly united galaxy.

After the merger is complete, the difficult aspect is figuring out which stars originated in which parent galaxy.

Astronomers used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s stellar spectra in addition to data from Gaia. The chemical compositions of the stars were described in detail by SDSS. Researchers found that stars in a certain range of metal-poor stars clustered around two distinct combinations of angular momentum and energy.

In the current investigation, Malhan and Rix merged detailed star spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (DR17) with data from Gaia. The later gave comprehensive details regarding the chemical makeup of the stars.

What are the Shiva and Shakti star streams?

In the Milky Way galaxy, two old star formations known as the Shiva and Shakti star streams have been found. These streams, which have names derived from Hindu deities that represent the origin of the universe, are among the oldest structures that have contributed to the construction of the galaxy, having existed for more than 12 billion years.

How were the Shiva and Shakti streams discovered?

The Gaia space telescope of the European Space Agency was used to find these streams. Astronomers were able to identify these distinctive structures by examining the orbits, contents, and chemical composition of individual stars inside the Milky Way, thanks to Gaia’s observations.

What is the significance of these streams?

Important new information about the early development processes of the Milky Way is provided by the finding of Shiva and Shakti. It is proposed that the galaxy was formed by a series of irregular, lengthy strands of gas and dust that eventually came together to produce stars and the galaxy itself. These streams also aid in bridging knowledge gaps about the early cosmic history of the Milky Way.

What makes Shiva and Shakti different from each other?

The formation and ages of the two streams are comparable, yet they are not the same. Compared to Shiva, Shakti’s stars circle significantly farther from the Milky Way’s centre and have more circular orbits, suggesting minor variations in the stars’ ancestry and galactic evolution.

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