Stellar Motions of Halo Stars in Milky Way

Stellar Motions of Halo Stars in Milky Way

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News release ID: STScI-2013-07
Release Date: Feb 21, 2013
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This illustration shows the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, surrounded by a faint, extended halo of old stars. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the nearby Andromeda galaxy serendipitously identified a dozen foreground stars in the Milky Way halo. They measured the first sideways motions (represented by the arrows) for such distant halo stars. The motions indicate the possible presence of a shell in the halo, which may have formed from the accretion of a dwarf galaxy. This observation supports the view that the Milky Way has undergone continuing growth and evolution over its lifetime by consuming smaller galaxies.

Galaxies, Hubble Telescope, Infographics, Milky Way


Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI);
Science Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Deason and P. Guhathakurta (University of California, Santa Cruz), and R. van der Marel, T. Sohn, and T. Brown (STScI)