A stellar desert found in our Milky Way Galaxy!

A vast expense of space near the center of Milky Way Galaxy- called the inner disk- is completely devoid of stars. Recently, an international team of researchers identified a huge gaseous void that extends for 8000 light years from the galactic core. They named this desolate region as stellar void and claimed that it hasn't produced any new stars in hundreds of millions of years.

Updated: Aug 06, 2016, 15:08 PM IST
A stellar desert found in our Milky Way Galaxy!
Image credit: University of Tokyo

New Delhi: A vast expense of space near the center of Milky Way Galaxy- called the inner disk- is completely devoid of stars. Recently, an international team of researchers identified a huge gaseous void that extends for 8000 light years from the galactic core. They named this desolate region as stellar void and claimed that it hasn't produced any new stars in hundreds of millions of years.

The findings are published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that highlight that a sizable portion of extreme inner disk, that makes up a large part of our galaxy, contains no young stars called Cepheids.

"We already found some while ago that there are Cepheids in the central heart of our Milky Way (in a region about 150 light years in radius),” said Noriyuki Matsunaga of the University of Tokyo, who led the international team. “Now we find that outside this there is a huge Cepheid desert extending out to 8000 light years from the center.", according to The Independent.

This is the first time researchers are observing lack of Cepheids and formation of dark clouds in the heart of the galaxy. These thick, light-blocking cosmic dust is also make it difficult for astronomers on the Earth to spot the pulsating stars.