Variable stars close to the galactic centre

This image, captured with the VISTA infrared survey telescope, as part of the Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) ESO public survey, shows the central part of the Milky Way. While normally hidden behind obscuring dust, the infrared capabilities of VISTA allow to study the stars close to the galactic centre.

Within this field of view astronomers detected several ancient stars, of a type known as RR Lyrae. As RR Lyrae stars typically reside in ancient stellar populations over 10 billion years old, this discovery suggests that the bulging centre of the Milky Way likely grew through the merging of primordial star clusters.

Credit:

ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti

About the Image

Id:eso1636a
Type:Observation
Release date:12 October 2016, 12:00
Related releases:eso1636
Size:15591 x 12672 px

About the Object

Name:RR Lyr
Type:Milky Way : Star : Type : Variable
Constellation:Ophiuchus
Category:Stars

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Coordinates

Position (RA):17 43 51.55
Position (Dec):-29° 17' 47.78"
Field of view:88.55 x 71.97 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 58.6° left of vertical

 

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