Astronomers Captured a Stellar Stream: What Should You Know

stellar stream discovery

Using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), a team of astronomers captured an intriguing new stellar stream. The cosmic feature was emanating from the M92 globular cluster.

According to astronomers, the discovery indicates that M92 is harshly troubled by the Milky Way’s tidal pulls. All the essential details and the importance of the findings are now featured in a paper. Here is what you need to know.

Stellar Stream Features

The recent discovery was possible using high-quality data from the MegaCam at CFHT and the Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1). Even if it displays intriguing features, the stellar stream around M92 raises some questions about the cluster’s nature. 

However, the team approximates that the stellar stream has a mass of about 10 % of the mass of the M92 cluster.

Stellar streams are known as long thin streams of stars born as dwarf galaxies or globular clusters. They end up ripped apart by the massive gravity of our galaxy. But the structures made by the tidal pulls are stable for billions of years. 

Astronomers utilized that as a guide to examine their existence and to comprehend the development of galaxies like the Milky Way. More intriguingly, the stellar streams can also be used as tools to survey the gravitational potential of the Milky Way and investigate the distribution of dark matter close to it.

CFIS/PS1 Insights

Astronomers succeeded in capturing the new stellar stream using an enhanced matched-filter technique. The team’s work proved to be a bit challenging because a high amount of stars from our galaxy’s disk hid the stellar stream. 

However, a combination of high-quality pictures from both Pan-STARRS and CFIS was the most successful tool. Todd Burdullis, an observing specialist at the CFHT, released a statement about how significant the CFIS/PS1 is.

He stated: “The discovery of the M92 stellar stream is a testament to the power of the CFIS/PS1 collaboration and the unique capabilities of MegaCam.”

 

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