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News Release Archive:

News Release 39 of 296

May 30, 2012 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2012-25

Stellar Archaeology Traces Milky Way's History

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Image: Structure of Milky Way's Halo (Artist's Illustration)

Structure of Milky Way's Halo (Artist's Illustration)STScI-PRC2012-25a

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This illustration shows the Milky Way galaxy's inner and outer halos. A halo is a spherical cloud of stars surrounding a galaxy. Astronomers have proposed that the Milky Way's halo is composed of two populations of stars. The age of the stars in the inner halo, according to measurements by the Paranal Observatory, is 11.5 billion years old. The measurements suggest the inner-halo stars are younger than the outer-halo population, some of which could be 13.5 billion years old.

Object Name: Milky Way

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

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