Outside of Earth’s immediate family in the solar system, the planet is part of a much bigger cosmic neighborhood: the Milky Way galaxy. It turns out the galaxy is hiding a tumultuous past, as new stellar data reveals that the Milky Way has died once and is currently in its second life. Two Types Of Stars In The Galaxy Spark Interest A new study published in the journal Nature used the chemical compositions of stars to uncover details on the galaxy’s history. After all, the stars’ composition should reflect the abundant elements in the galaxy at the time that they were formed. Two distinct groups of stars based on chemical composition were discovered: one set rich in α-elements such as oxygen, magnesium, and silicon, and another one more rich in iron. While the reason behind the stark difference between the two groups used to be unclear, Masafumi Noguchi, an astronomer from Tohoku University and lead author of the new study, believes that his new model offers a plausible explanation.
Black holes are some of the most mysterious objects in the cosmos. These pitch black regions of spacetime are the glue that holds together the Milky Way, but they also devour planets and stars like Triscuits. In short, black holes are like the misunderstood teens of the sitcom that is the universe. They seem complicated and brooding, but deep down inside they’re just trying to live a simple life. Theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack speaks to Rae Paoletta on the seventh episode of I Need My Space, Inverse’s podcast about all things extraterrestrial, to dispel any hot gossip going around about these brooding gravitational phenomena. No, they aren’t interdimensional portals or some kind of real-life version of the Eye of Sauron. They’re just clumps of matter doing their thing. “A black hole is what happens when you put a whole lot of matter in a very small space. They’re very simple creatures.” says Mack. “Based on the best theories out there, black holes have very few properties. They have a mass, they have a charge, they have a spin if they’re spinning, and that’s kind of it. They don’t have different colors or mountains or anything like that.”