Scientists discover a hidden new type of star deep within our Milky Way galaxy

Researchers have discovered a surprising new type of star deep within the center of our Milky Way galaxy with dramatic brightness changes.

1 minute & 9 seconds read time

Authors of a series of papers published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society detail the discovery of a new type of star that was found by analyzing a decade-long collection of data collected by the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope (VISTA).

Scientists discover a hidden new type of star deep within our Milky Way galaxy 25251

The team behind the study focused on approximately 200 stars in a specific region of space that had seemingly dramatic shifts in brightness. More specifically, the team was searching for any signs of protostars or young baby stars that are very early in their life. Of the 200 selected stars, the team discovered 32 protostars; each of these was in the process of becoming a fully-fledged fusion monster star, meaning they were constantly outbursting.

Notably, among these young protostars were 21 red giants deep within the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and according to reports and the studies cited by the reports, these red giants are a new type of red giant called old smokers. The inner regions of the Milky Way is rich with heavy elements, meaning the stars located within these regions also have high metallicity.

The reason for the name "old smokers" can be attributed to the star giving off clouds of dust that obscure the star from vision for a period of time. This process occurs while the star is aging, and the discovery of these new types of red giants may lead to a deeper understanding of how heavy elements within our galaxy are used by new stars.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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