milky way

milky way

Listen to the eerie SPACE MUSIC echoing across the Milky Way from the oldest stars in our galaxy

1d ago
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Astrophysicists have captured the sounds of some of the oldest stars in the Milky Way, shedding new light on the history of our galaxy. Using data from NASA ’s Kepler K2 mission, the space researchers at University of Birmingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy managed to capture the stellar sounds from one of the oldest known clusters of stars in our galaxy. Known as ‘M4’, that stars are thought to date back some 13 billion years old. “We were thrilled to be able to listen to some of the stellar relics of the early universe. The stars we have studied really are living fossils from the time of the formation of our Galaxy, and we now hope be able to unlock the secrets of how spiral galaxies, like our own, formed and evolved,” said study leader Dr Andrea Miglio, from the University of Birmingham.The team reported the detection of the ‘resonant acoustic oscillations’ from the ancient stars in the Royal Astronomical Society journal Monthly Notices . Using a technique called asteroseismology, the astrophysicists studied the oscillations and found tiny changes in brightness caused by sound trapped inside the stars. By measuring these celestial sounds, the team was able to tell how old stars are, as well as their mass. “The age scale of stars has so far been restricted to relatively young stars, limiting our ability to probe the early history of our Galaxy. "In this research we have been able to prove that asteroseismology can give precise and accurate ages for the oldest stars in the Galaxy,” said study co-author Dr Guy Davies. As well as producing bizarre sounds, studying the ancient clusters can also give scientists a better idea of the ancient history of the galaxy. “Just as archaeologists can reveal the past by excavating the earth, so we can use sound inside the stars to perform Galactic archaeology,” commented the University of Birmingham’s Professor Bill Chaplin, who is also leader of the international collaboration on asteroseismology.