New research indicates that stars in the Milky Way's "central bulge" were created in a single burst

UCLA Astro Division researcher Michael Rich and colleagues have published a study suggesting that the majority of stars in the Milky Way's "central bulge" were created in a single burst of star formation over 10 billion years ago.
 
Dr. Rich and his colleague Christian Johnson of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland have revealed some significant results from a years-long Blanco DECam Bulge Survey. The study suggests that earlier theories proposing multiple periods of star formation may not be an accurate assessment of stellar development in the Milky Way.
 
"The survey is novel in two ways," reports Dr. Rich.  "First, it measures the metal content of millions of stars. The metals are formed in stellar explosions- supernova- so that's how we know that the bulge formed in a single burst. Second, the original dataset --  50 terabytes --  gives us a glimpse into the powerful datasets of the future, especially from the 8m Rubin Telescope in Chile, that will see its first light in 2022".
 
Co Principle-Investigator Christian I. Johnson was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA from 2012 - 2015.
 
The scientific publications discussing these findings are available online at Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in two papers here and here.

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