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The huge new data set will solve many of the mysteries of the Milky Way



Play detective on a galaxy scale: The huge new dataset will solve many of the mysteries of the Milky Way

The right half of the photo was taken late in the afternoon, the Moon is up. The left half image was taken just a few minutes before the start of dusk that night. Orion and the Pleiades shone on the AAT on a very dark night. November 4-5, 2011. Siding Spring Observatory, NSW, Australia. Image Provider: Dr. Ángel R. López-Sánchez / Australian Astronomical Optics / Macquarie University / ASTRO 3D

How do stars destroy lithium? Was the dramatic change in the shape of the Milky Way due to the sudden appearance of millions of stars?


These are just a few of the astronomical questions that will likely be answered after today’s release ‘GALAH DR3’, the largest stellar chemistry data set ever compiled.

The data, including more than 500 GB of information gathered from more than 30 million individual measurements, was collected by astronomers including Sven Buder, Sarah Martell and Sanjib Sharma from the ARC Center of Excellence in Physics. Astronomy of the sky in 3 dimensions (ASTRO 3-D) with the Anglo Australia Telescope (AAT) at the Australian Astronomical Observatory at Siding Spring in rural New South Wales.

The release is the third installment from the Galactic Archeology project with HERMES (GALAH), which aims to investigate star formation, chemical enrichment, migration and consolidation in the Milky Way. It does this using a tool called a high-efficiency and resolution Multi-Factor Spectrometer, or HERMES, connected to the AAT.

The new data covers 600,000 stars and brings the project very close to reaching its goal of surveying one million stars.

“It’s a bit like a galaxy version of the game Cluedo“, Sven Buder of ASTRO 3-D, a researcher at Australian National University, said.

“The chemical information we collect is like the DNA of stars – we can use it to see where each star came from. We can also determine their age and movement, copper. time provides a deeper understanding of how the Milky Way has evolved. “

And, just like in CluedoInformation can be used to go to the end of mysterious events.

Dr Buder explained: “For example, while we were mainly surveying our solar neighborhood, we found more than 20,000 stars that do not share the same chemical composition or age of the Sun and its star.

“We know that about 8 billion years ago, the shape of the Milky Way changed dramatically when it collided with another, smaller, millions of stars. Now, we use DNA. of the stars to identify some of the main suspects for the attack. These stowaways are very different, they can only come from one place to another. “

Another mystery that will likely be answered soon thanks to newly discovered evidence called the ‘Cosmic Lithium Puzzle’.

Lithium is one of the elements created in the Big Bang. It is also destroyed by several types of stars. However, modeling to estimate its abundance has so far been in short supply – with calculated totals not matching the empirical evidence.

GALAH DR3 is like providing a solution.

ASTRO’s 3-D researcher, Dr. Sanjib Sharma said: “Basically a lot of the oldest stars burned a lot of the Big Bang’s lithium, so our measurements for this element is lower than the amount originally synthesized in the Early Universe, ”ASTRO’s 3-D researcher, Dr. Sanjib Sharma, from the University of Sydney.

“At the same time, we discovered that a type of stars, called evolved giants, should have burned nearly all of their lithium by now, but a lot of them have. more than we expected. GALAH data will help us discover why. “

As with the two previous releases of data from the GALAH survey, this information is made available to astronomers around the world free of charge.

Associate Professor Sarah Martell from ASTRO 3-D and UNSW Sydney explained: “The wide availability of large datasets such as GALAH DR3 is really important to astronomical research.

“Since the inception of the GALAH project, we have been focussed on building a data set that can answer our questions about the history of the Milky Way and many more. See what our international colleagues will do with GALAH DR3. ”


350,000 stars are questioned for DNA to find lost siblings of the sun


More information:
You can find the GALAH DR3 data set here: docs.datacentral.org.au/galah/

Provided by ASTRO 3D

Quote: Play detective on a galaxy scale: The huge new dataset will solve many of the mysteries of the Milky Way (2020, November 5) retrieved November 7, 2020 from https: // phys. org / news / 2020-11-galactic-scale-huge-dataset- multiple.html

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