Italian astronomers have discovered a new star cluster
As part of the YMCA project, astronomers from Italy have discovered a star cluster that may become one of the oldest and most distant in the Milky Way. It was named YMCA-1, arXiv reports.
Star clusters are groups of stars that share a common origin and are gravitationally related. They are important for studying and modeling the evolution of cosmic bodies.
The main goal of the YMCA project is to study the Magellanic Clouds, neighboring galaxies with the Milky Way. Scientists plan to reveal previously unknown star systems. They have already managed to find about 80 clusters.
The YMCA-1 Cluster was seen about 13 degrees east of the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Scientists have established that its age is 12.6 billion years. It is poor in metals, which is typical for objects from the early universe.
The system is located approximately 342,000 light years from the center of our galaxy. Scientists have suggested that it is directly related to the Milky Way, but has very unusual properties.
“YMCA-1 may be one of the faintest star clusters ever discovered so far, and definitely the most compact beyond 50 parsecs from the galactic center,” the authors of the article clarified.
But deep photometric observations are needed to confirm the nature of the YMCA-1 and estimate the distance to it. Earlier it became known that astronomers have discovered a new type of stellar explosion. It was called “hypernova”.